Graduation Date

Spring 2019

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Applied Anthropology

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Marissa Ramsier

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Dr. Marisol Cortes-Rincon

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Ariel Gruenthal-Rankin

Third Committee Member Affiliation

Community Member or Outside Professional

Subject Categories



The objective of this study is to assess the degree of craniofacial variation and sexual dimorphism exhibited by a skeletal sample of 32 adult (14 probable female, 16 probable male, 2 indeterminate) crania from Bezławki, a medieval (14th-15th century) Prussian cemetery site located in modern northeastern Poland. Christian Crusaders were actively colonizing the region during this time period; therefore, the cemetery is likely to include both indigenous Prussians and settlers. It is currently unknown whether the skeletal sample at Bezławki represents a morphologically homogenous or heterogeneous group.

To address this question, three-dimensional cranial landmark data were collected using a Microscribe. Traditional craniometric and nonmetric trait inventories were also completed. The data were analyzed for shape using General Procrustes Analysis (GPA) and Principal Component Analysis (PCA) within EVAN, and one-way ANOVA and F-tests in Excel for testing variation between males and females. The PCA results indicated four male statistical outliers, a finding supported in part by the nonmetric trait inventories, and weakly by the traditional craniometrics. The ANOVA results revealed no significant differences between sex and all PC scores combined, whereas the F-tests indicated a significant difference in variance between the sexes in some PC scores.

The findings were evaluated with respect to the isolation by geographic distance hypothesis (IBD), historical records of regional activity during the time period, and comparative bioarchaeological studies. This study generates population-specific data on cranial morphological variation in northeastern Europe during the late medieval period and informs historical patterns of migration into the region.

Citation Style


Available for download on Tuesday, May 07, 2024


Thesis/Project Location