Joel D. Irish
Department of Anthropology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska, 99775-7720, U.S.A.
Received 13 January 2000;
Data obtained during an ongoing dental investigation of African populations address two long-standing, hotly debated questions. First, was there genetic continuity between Late Pleistocene Iberomaurusians and later northwest Africans (e.g., Capsians, Berbers, Guanche)? Second, were skeletally-robust Iberomaurusians and northeast African Nubians variants of the same population? Iberomaurusians from Taforalt in Morocco and Afalou-Bou-Rhummel in Algeria, Nubians from Jebel Sahaba in Sudan, post-Pleistocene Capsians from Algeria and Tunisia, and a series of other samples were statistically compared using 29 discrete dental traits to help estimate diachronic local and regional affinities. Results revealed: (1) a relationship between the Iberomaurusians, particularly those from Taforalt, and later Maghreb and other North African samples, and (2) a divergence among contemporaneous Iberomaurusians and Nubian samples. Thus, some measure of long-term population continuity in the Maghreb and surrounding region is supported, whereas greater North African population heterogenity during the Late Pleistocene is implied.
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