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Int. J. Osteoarchaeol. (2011)

Published online in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com) DOI: 10.1002/oa.1269

**Boards and Cords: Discriminating Types of Artiﬁcial Cranial Deformation in Prehispanic South Central Andean Populations
**

T. G. O’BRIENa* AND A. M. STANLEYb

Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50614, USA b Department of Mathematics, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50614, USA

a

ABSTRACT

For over a century, a number of ambiguous typologies have been employed to distinctly categorise types of artiﬁcial cranial deformation. This paper provides a quantitative method, based on multiple dimensions and discriminant function analysis, by which to assign skulls not only into discrete categories: deformed or not, but also by type: annular or tabular. A series of prehispanic, adult, human crania (n=469) from archaeological sites in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru represented by both normal and artiﬁcially deformed specimens, provide craniometric data for four measurements across the vault: maximum cranial length, breadth and height and the frontal chord. These data are used to develop three indices which in turn are used to compute two discriminant functions. Results are plotted on a territorial map whereby the type of deformity can be determined. When these methods were applied to a comparative cranial sample of nondeformed skulls from South America, 100% of the samples was found to be nondeformed. When these methods were applied to the samples which were subjectively classiﬁed a priori by the ﬁrst author as nondeformed, 81.3% of the samples were found to be nondeformed. This study demonstrates the value of a more objective and quantitative method by which to classify artiﬁcial cranial deformation, and thus provides a new approach. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Key words: annular; craniometrics; cultural cranial modiﬁcation; discriminant function; head moulding; South America; tabular

In physical anthropology, the skull is traditionally the best part of the skeleton by which to determine sex and/or ancestry for either forensic identiﬁcation purposes or for computing ancient group connections, such as with biodistances. To do this, a plethora of craniometric data is usually collected and subjected to multivariate statistical analysis. However, if a skull shows signs of being intentionally altered, it is often deemed unusable from a strict craniometric perspective (Cocilovo, 1975). Therefore, it is often that such skulls are discarded from analysis. There are two problems with this tacit dismissal of valuable cranial information: ﬁrst, interpreting whether or not a cranial vault has been intentionally altered has been and continues to be an extremely qualitative decision; and second, if

* Correspondence to: Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA. 50614–0513 USA. e-mail: tyler.obrien@uni.edu

the skull is judged to be altered, then it is often classiﬁed into a certain style based, once again on ambiguous typological systems; such systems will be described later. The objectives of this paper are to resolve these problems by providing a quantitative approach to determining the metric limitations to whether or not a skull has been artiﬁcially deformed, and if so, then to discretely categorise its type; at least for this region of the south central Andes from which the samples used herein originate. For this paper, the phrase artiﬁcial cranial deformation (ACD) is used to denote what others have called cultural cranial modiﬁcation, head binding, skull moulding or variants thereof (Ellen FitzSimmons & Prost, 1998; Blom, 2005; Torres-Rouff & Yablonsky, 2005; Perez, 2007). Archaeological evidence and ethnohistoric accounts document ACD as a human cultural phenomenon found on almost every continent (Dingwall, 1931). As a biocultural process, it is deﬁned as the product of

Received 15 December 2010 Revised 12 May 2011 Accepted 5 July 2011

Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

**T. G. O’Brien and A. M. Stanley
**

dynamically distorting the normal patterns of neurocranial growth in the infant through the agency of externally applied forces (Moss, 1958:275). Deformation can be produced unintentionally through the inadvertent effects of tying the child’s head to a cradleboard, as seen in some native North American Indian groups (Kohn et al., 1995; Piper, 2002). Yet, the most dramatic effects come from the intentional process of ACD. In general, ancient groups from around the world have practised the act of binding the head in basically one of two styles (see Figure 1): soon after birth, they would either strap hard, ﬂat devices like boards, to both the front and back of the infant’s head or wrap the infant’s head with tight bandages like cords. By leaving these apparati on the head for a period of time ranging from 3 to 5years, and being occasionally tightened, the resultant growth processes of the brain and cranium would be altered producing in the adult a more upright, boxy shaped skull in the ﬁrst (referred to as tabular) and a more conical shaped skull in the second style (referred to as annular) (Dembo & Imbelloni, 1938). The end result is a permanently altered, adult head that some have speculated improved a person’s beauty, social status or class; but most widely accept that head shaping marked an individual as belonging to a certain region, ethnic or kin group or segment of society (Gerszten & Gerszten, 1995; Blom, 1999).

Historical background

In the last century, a steadily increasing trend has emerged in the study of ACD from a biological anthropological perspective. Such issues that have been explored include: the effects of deformation on normal patterns of growth and development (Björk & Björk, 1964; Anton, 1989; Cheverud et al., 1992; Kohn et al., 1993; Konigsberg et al., 1993; Dean, 1995a, 1995b; O’Loughlin, 1996; Pomatto et al., 2006); its inﬂuence on cranial trait morphology (Ogura et al., 2006; Rhode & Arriaza, 2006; Del Papa & Perez, 2007; Durband, 2008); the effects on sutural bone development (Ossenberg, 1970; El-Najjar & Dawson, 1977; Gottlieb, 1978; Anton et al., 1992; White, 1996; O’Loughlin, 2004; O’Brien & Sensor, 2008); using ACD type distribution across time and space to interpret migration, and cross-cultural inﬂuences (Hoshower et al., 1995; Blom et al., 1998; Anton & Weinstein, 1999; Őzbek, 2001;

A

B

C

D

1

2

3

Figure 1. Column A: infants. Column B: adults. Column C: adult skull, lateral view. Column D: adult skull, superior view. Row 1: tabular style. Row 2: normal. Row 3: annular style. (Drawing by TGO, modiﬁed after Imbelloni, 1938 and Anton, 1989).

Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Int. J. Osteoarchaeol. (2011)

**Discriminating Types of Artiﬁcial Cranial Deformation
**

Blom, 2005; Torres-Rouff & Yablonsky, 2005); and mathematical analysis (Shapiro, 1928; Watson, 1999; Frieb & Baylac, 2003; Perez, 2007). For over a century assessing, classifying or scoring forms, types, methods, or techniques of ACD on the human skull has remained ambiguous and inconsistent. There are a number of classical works that show this diversity (Dingwall, 1931; Neumann, 1942; Moss, 1958; McNeill & Newton, 1965; Rogers, 1975; Munizaga, 1976; Allison et al., 1981; Cheverud et al., 1992; Gerszten, 1993; Buikstra & Ubelaker, 1994). Previous scholars in the ﬁelds of craniology and anthropometry recognised from as few as two or three types to as many as 16 types of ACD (see O’Brien & Sensor, 2004). Some made distinctions between unintentional and intentional, whereas others tended to construct their classiﬁcation by describing cranial shape and form, or by applying geographic distribution, like the northwest Paciﬁc Coast type, or by use of tribal nomenclature, like the Aymara type or the Chinook type (Dingwall, 1931). However, many typological schemes today tend to favour a stylistic approach deﬁned by the deforming apparatus employed (Buikstra & Ubelaker, 1994). Other contemporary approaches continue to cloud the issue by presenting new names for old styles (Munizaga, 1976; Anton, 1989). Previous discussions on the history of the typological study of ACD have tended to ignore the ambiguity in the various classiﬁcation schemes presented over time (Rogers, 1975; Dean, 1995b). Today, we still struggle with deﬁning ACD types (O’Brien & Sensor, 2004). Therefore, a method by which to quantitatively determine ACD is needed. It is important to be able to categorise ACD by type because of its regional variation, especially as it pertains to prehispanic, human groups in the Andes, but furthermore to see how that variation contributes to cultural and archaeological interpretations of such populations. Although the system for assessing types of artiﬁcially deformed crania may be interpreted as seeming subjective (Blom, 1999:144), it was Dembo & Imbelloni (1938:240; translated by TGO) who said, “. . . in the classiﬁcation of intentionally deformed types and the use of their respective terminology, the large number of researchers who study this subject do not agree on any uniﬁed vision or system; thereby leaving this matter to be dominated by massive confusion.” Nevertheless, previous classiﬁcation schemes of ACD, regardless of the variety of types they have produced, seem to agree on one common trait – that intentional deformation can be performed in basically one of two manners: either with boards or cords. Argentine physical anthropologist José Imbelloni (1938, 1963) was certainly one of the ﬁrst to note this duality. It was modiﬁed slightly by Anton

Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

(1989) and subsequently adopted for ACD documentation and recording by Buikstra and Ubelaker (1994). Imbelloni (1923; 1924–25) sought to interpret the ranges of cranial deformity that were artiﬁcially induced by utilising geometric and trigonometric techniques. The methods that he utilised were never widely accepted, most likely because his work was published in museum annals or as research reports. But he eventually created a simple and useful typology for describing South American skulls (Imbelloni, 1938; see also Dembo & Imbelloni, 1938) (see Figure 1). For his ﬁrst type he renames the ‘highland’ or ‘Aymara’ style (Hrdlička, 1922, 1923) as the annular form, characterised by bandages, belts or cords wrapped around the infant’s head. The deforming apparatus would pass across the individual’s forehead transversely, run above the ears and be bound at or around the lower back of the head. The result of this deformation technique would produce a skull shape that was obliquely conical when viewed in proﬁle. For his second type, Imbelloni names the utilisation of boards or hard ﬂat surfaces bound to the child’s head as the tabular form. The deforming apparatus was typically a thin, ﬂat board placed across the forehead and tied laterally to another board placed across the back of the head. The stronger forces of deformation would produce a nearly box-like vault shape, that is, high and short). Imbelloni supports a more geometric approach in craniomorphologicla assessment of ACD when he states that: (translated by TGO from original: Imbelloni, 1923:32): . . . an exact or mathematical morphology should be employed to reduce the synthetic expression of the skull to a group of geometric formulas, that represent the most signiﬁcant analytical relationships between points, lines and planes; relationships that in deﬁning geometric notation appear in the form of arcs, angles and chords. This observation by Imbelloni is applied within this paper; such that, in normal (nondeformed) skulls, the length of the frontal, parietal or occipital chords vary between and within populations. However, when compared with individuals exhibiting signs of ACD, such as annular or tabular, the chord lengths and vault shape, in general, are more greatly altered (Anton, 1989). For example, in an annular deformed skull, the posterior parietals extend superiorly and posteriorly, and the bones of the frontal, occipital and cranial base are lengthened (Anton, 1989; Kohn et al., 1993). In a tabular deformed skull, the postero-lateral parietals (the bosses) are often widened laterally becoming somewhat

Int. J. Osteoarchaeol. (2011)

**T. G. O’Brien and A. M. Stanley
**

bilobular and more vertical, whereas the frontal bone is lengthened and widened (Cheverud et al., 1992). The main problem for any assessment procedure out there today is the lack of discrete boundaries between deformation types. What is the deciding factor between a normal, nondeformed skull and one that shows, for example, tabular deformation? Above and beyond the issues of typological nomenclature (see O’Brien & Sensor, 2004), there is a real problem with ﬁguring out exactly whether the observed cranium is actually deformed or just on the periphery of the population’s normal range of variation. Where are the measurable, typological limits? The recent contribution by Perez (2007) of approximating ACD in South America using geometric morphometrics is a well-needed addition to solving the dilemma, but produces a complicated approach that might be difﬁcult to reproduce in the ﬁeld context. If one can construct a population’s normal range of cranial microvariation from multiple dimensions, chord lengths, or other indices and then use that information in comparison with similar data taken from artiﬁcially deformed skulls, then it might just be possible to quantify the variation seen in patterns of ACD. Our goal is to produce an analytical tool for objectively determining ACD by applying standardised craniometric techniques and a mathematical approach as they apply to a series of skulls from prehispanic Andean groups. The results can be used in the ﬁeld or laboratory applying simple computation. By taking a few recognised cranial measurements, developing the relevant indices and plotting them into the appropriate formulas, one is be able to say with a certain level of conﬁdence that the skull measured is either normal (not deformed), tabular (deformed), or annular (deformed). Demographics and sample sizes for this dataset are presented in Table 1.The Howells database is used to test our methods developed from the South American cranial data in O’Brien’s dataset. This database includes 57 measurements taken from over 1200 crania grouped into about 28 speciﬁc populations from around the world. Further information regarding this collection can be found in three principal monographs (Howells, 1973, 1989, 1995, 1996) and the data itself can be downloaded from: http://konig.la.utk.edu/howells.htm. However, for this study, only the Peruvian sample (n=110), from the old province of Yauyos, is utilised because, as a comparative sample, it was the most temporally and spatially relevant. Howells (1973:30) states in respect to this particular collection that it was originally developed by Dr. J. C. Tello and was comprised of 536 crania, but the crania selected by Howells were ones that showed ‘. . .no evidence of artiﬁcial or natural shaping or distortion of the vault (uncommon in this population in any case).’ Thus, only 150 nondeformed crania became available; from which he attempted to get an unbiased geographically distributed series. Hence, 55 males and 55 females construct the 110 crania used in the present study. Therefore, it is argued that the series of undeformed crania selected by Howells is suitable to function as a control in this study (Ross et al., 2008).

Methods

For a cranium to be included in this study, it needed to be an adult and generally complete. The minimal signs used to assess whether a skull was of adult status included the following: full eruption and use of third molar(s), moderate signs of attrition patterns and cranial suture obliteration (Lovejoy, 1985; Meindl & Lovejoy, 1985; Masset, 1989; Buikstra & Ubelaker, 1994; O’Brien & Sensor, 2008). Of course, advanced signs of these factors guaranteed adult status. Furthermore, the following cranial landmarks were required

Table 1. Demographics of the O’Brien dataset Type of deformation Region Argentina Bolivia Chile Peru Total Annular 5 56 2 14 77 None 39 203 4 34 280 Tabular 48 42 1 21 112 N 92 301 7 69 469

Materials

Three collections of crania are combined and examined for this study. The ﬁrst is from the Museo Arqueológico de San Simon in Cochabamba, Bolivia (O’Brien & Sanzetenea, 2002; O’Brien, 2003). The second is from the Museo de La Plata in La Plata, Argentina. Finally, the third is from the Museo Etnográﬁco de Juan Ambrosetti in Buenos Aires, Argentina. All crania in the three collections originate from prehispanic, archaeological sites in: Argentina (n=92), Bolivia (n=301), Chile (n=7) and Peru (n=69). The crania vary in their temporal provenience but date roughly to the Middle Horizon (AD ~500–1000) for the south central Andean region. The data from the three combined collections is be referred to as the O’Brien dataset (n=469).

Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Int. J. Osteoarchaeol. (2011)

**Discriminating Types of Artiﬁcial Cranial Deformation
**

to be present: basion, nasion, glabella, bregma, euryon, opisthocranion and opisthion. Each cranium was subjected to a battery of 33 traditional craniometric observations. Data were collected by the ﬁrst author (TGO) using standardised measuring procedures with spreading, sliding and coordinate callipers (see Howells, 1973, 1989; Moore-Jansen et al., 1994; Buikstra & Ubelaker, 1994). Incidentally, cranial circumference was not recorded because we felt that these data would not contribute adequately to the development of the speciﬁc indices. From the craniometric observations, four major dimensions (recorded in millimetres) are utilised as variables in this study: maximum cranial length [glabella – opisthocranion] (L), maximum cranial height [basion – bregma] (H), maximum cranial breadth [euryon – euryon] (B) and the frontal chord [nasion – bregma] (F) (see Figure 2). These four measurements were selected because they encompass the entire cranial vault and facilitate computation. More dimensions might complicate calculations and reduce potential sample sizes by eliminating incomplete skulls. Future work could examine the effects of adding more dimensions, but for now we believe these four dimensions to be suitable for analysis. Imbelloni’s nomenclature for ACD types (1938; Dembo & Imbelloni, 1938) is favoured in this study despite the abundance of various cranial deformation typologies (see O’Brien & Sensor, 2004 for a thorough review). Our reasoning behind this is because the cranial materials used in this study originated from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru, and Imbelloni’s ACD typology was developed from observing South American cranial samples. It is understood that Imbelloni expanded his binomial typology into subdivisions, like the erect, oblique and pseudo-circular forms. For this study, though, those subdivisions are not employed. Each of the crania was observed visually for signs of intentional deformation by the ﬁrst author. Crania were assigned a priori, without any measuring, to a deformation category based on morphological traits consistent with what is described by Imbelloni (1938; see also Dembo & Imbelloni, 1938). This qualitative, nonmetric approach to ACD typing classiﬁed those skulls that exhibited an obliquely elongated and conicalshaped vault as the annular type; those skulls that exhibited a vertically boxy-shaped or slightly bilobular vault as tabular; and those that showed neither as normal. The deformation of the skull involves major shape changes in multiple dimensions. We, therefore, are mainly concerned with major skull measurements: length, breadth, height and chords. In order to avoid the relative size of any given skull, we use self-referential ratios.

F, H L

A

L F H F, H

B

B

Results

B L B

B

L F H F, H

**Cranial dimensions and their relationships
**

In order to better understand the indices, we discuss the relationships among the measurements as they apply to the two deformation types and normal skulls (please refer to Figures 1 and 2). We ﬁrst begin with cranial breadth (B). When viewed from above, annular skulls are conical, or elongated, in shape. Thus, we expect a smaller cranial breadth for annular skulls as compared with normal skulls (Figure 2). Further, the triangular, or bilobular, shape of the tabular skulls leads us to expect the cranial breadth of tabular skulls to be larger than that for normal skulls (Figure 2). We computed the means of the cranial breadths for each of our data sets. The results are in Table 2. Using a t-statistic with a p-value of 0.05, we conclude that in general, the annular cranial breadth (BA) is less than the normal

Int. J. Osteoarchaeol. (2011)

L

C

L F H

B

B

Figure 2. Four measurements recorded for this study. Row A: tabular skull. Row B: normal skull. Row C: annular skull. Left side is lateral view and right side is superior view. Maximum cranial height (H), Maximum cranial length (L), Frontal chord (F) and Maximum cranial breadth (B).

Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

**T. G. O’Brien and A. M. Stanley
**

Table 2. Computed means for each cranial dimension by type of deformation Deformation type Annular Cranial breadth Cranial length Cranial height Frontal chord 127.46 174.33 134.94 117.94 Normal 136.44 173.46 127.72 107.40 Tabular 143.89 163.11 134.09 115.15

cranial breadth (BN) which in turn should be less than the tabular cranial breadth (BT). Therefore, for Cranial Breadth, we have the relationship BA <BN <BT. We now look at cranial length (see Figure 2). The conical shape of the annular skulls tends upwards at an angle from the Frankfort horizontal. Thus, we expect the cranial length of annular to skulls to be larger than normal skulls but not signiﬁcantly larger. The shape of the boxy tabular skulls leads us to expect that the cranial length should be smaller for tabular skulls than for normal skulls. We computed the means of the cranial lengths for each of our data sets (see Table 2). Using a t-statistic with a p-value of 0.05, we concluded that in general, the tabular cranial length (LT) is less than the normal cranial length (LN) which should be similar or slightly smaller than the annular cranial length (LA). Therefore, for Cranial Length, we have the relationship LT <LN %LA. Now, consider cranial height (see Figure 2). The position for the bregma in annular skulls often falls roughly behind the placement of the external auditory meatus (or porion). This causes the cranial height of the conical annular skulls to be larger than that of normal skulls. The boxy tabular skulls should also tend to have a larger cranial height than normal skulls because of the raised vault. We computed the means of the cranial heights for each of our data sets (see Table 2). Using a t-statistic with a p-value of 0.05, we are able to conclude that in general, the normal cranial height (HN) is less than the tabular cranial height (HT) which in turn should be similar to the annular cranial height (HA). Therefore, for Cranial Height, we have the relationship HN <HT %HA. Finally, we consider the frontal chord (see Figure 2). In tabular skulls, the higher cranial vault leads us to expect a larger frontal chord for tabular skulls than for normal skulls. Furthermore, the position for bregma in annular skulls also leads us to expect the frontal chord to be considerably larger in annular skulls than in normal skulls. Therefore, we expect the frontal chord of annular skulls to be larger than that of tabular skulls as well. We computed the means for frontal chords for our data

Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

sets (see Table 2). Using a t-statistic with a p-value of 0.05, we are able to conclude that in general, the normal frontal chord (FN) is less than the tabular frontal chord (FT) which in turn should be less than the annular frontal chord (FA). Therefore, for Frontal Chord, we have the relationship FN <FT <FA. We now use this information to deﬁne indices that differentiate between the two types of deformations and normal skulls. We deﬁne the annular index as B/H, the tabular index as H/L and the normal index as F/L and their respective means in Table 3. Following each index’s description and veriﬁcation, we show how these indices discriminate between the types of deformation and normal skulls.

**Calculating index values
**

Annular index (B/H): Because HA >HN >0, we can conclude that 1/HA <1/HN. This, together with the fact that BA <BN tells us that BA/HA <BN/HN. Because HA %HT, we can conclude that 1/HA %1/HT. This, together with the fact BA <BT tells us that BA/HA < BT/HT. Thus, we expect the value for the annular index in annular skulls to be less than the values for the same index in normal and tabular skulls, respectively; or in mathematical terms: BA/HA <BN/HN, BT/HT. In Table 3, , we demonstrate the observed means for the annular index across our populations. This corroborated our expectations that the annular index would indicate whether or not a given skull had a tendency towards an annular deformation. Tabular index (H/L): Because 0<LT <LN, we can conclude that 1/LN <1/LT. This, together with the fact that HN <HT gives us that HN/LN <HT/LT. Because 0<LT <LA, we can conclude that 1/LA <1/LT. This, together with the fact that HA %HT tells us that HA/LA < HT/LT. Thus, we expect the value for the tabular index in tabular skulls to be greater than the values for the same index in normal and annular skulls, respectively; or in mathematical terms: HA/LA, HN/LN <HT/LT. In Table 3, we demonstrate the observed means for the

Table 3. Observed means for each index by type across populations Deformation type Annular Annular index Tabular index Normal index B/H mean H/L mean F/L mean 0.95 0.77 0.67 Normal 1.07 0.74 0.62 Tabular 1.08 0.82 0.68

Int. J. Osteoarchaeol. (2011)

**Discriminating Types of Artiﬁcial Cranial Deformation
**

tabular index across our populations. This corroborated our expectations that the tabular index would indicate whether or not a given skull had a tendency towards a tabular deformation. Normal index (F/L): Because 0<LT <LN, we can conclude that 1/LN <1/LT. This, together with the fact that FN <FT tells us that FN/LN <FT/LT. Because LN %LA, we can conclude that 1/LN %1/LA. This, together with the fact that FN <FA gives us that FN/LN < FA/LA. Thus, we expect the value for the normal index in normal skulls to be less than the values for the same index in annular or tabular skulls, or in mathematical terms: FN/LN <FA/LA, FT/LT. In Table 3, we demonstrate the observed means for the normal index across our populations. This corroborated our expectations that the normal index would indicate whether or not a given skull had a tendency towards deformation. We summarise the indices in Table 4. Before discussing the formula for determining the deformation and the likelihood of success, the need for the formula is discussed. Prior to developing the technique described in this paper, O’Brien classiﬁed 280 skulls, in the data set of 469 skulls, as nondeformed through visual assessment only. The average normal index for this set is 0.64. Taking Howells’ data set as our control group, the average normal index for nondeformed skulls in this region is 0.62. Using the normal distribution for random samples, the probability that a random collection of 280 skulls could have an average normal index of 0.64, when the true average for the population is 0.62, is less than 2x10-68 (or essentially zero). Therefore, it is concluded that there is a signiﬁcant number of deformed

Table 4. Index tendency by deformation type across populations Annular index (B/H) Annular Tabular Normal Low High High Tabular index (H/L) Low High Low Normal index (F/L) High High Low

skulls that were inaccurately classiﬁed by O’Brien. This attests to the inaccuracy of a visual and qualitative form of ACD type classiﬁcation system. O’Brien’s methods of interpretation are based on the conﬂicted and ambiguous typological systems that currently exist (see O’Brien & Sensor, 2004). Therefore, it is not surprising that classiﬁcations would differ. We suspect that many of the studies that have been conducted on skull deformation may produce similar results of inaccuracy. Thus, we offer a more objective classiﬁcation system.

**Discriminant function analysis
**

Discriminant function analysis has been used many times before to analyse craniometric data as it pertains to differentiating groups (Giles & Elliot, 1962; Birkby, 1966; Keita, 1988; Clark et al., 2007; Kranioti et al., 2008; Robinson & Bidmos, 2009). Therefore, we deem it appropriate to use in this study to ﬁnd functions that best separate our data into distinct categories: normal, annular, or tabular (Tabachnick & Fidell, 2001). A Shapiro–Wilks test was performed with the statistical software package SAS (SAS, Institute, Inc., NC, USA) (SAS, 2009). The p-values are separated into O’Brien annular, O’Brien tabular and Howells’ normal (see Table 5). As all the p-values for the univariate test are greater than 0.05, there is a 95% conﬁdence interval that these are all normal distributions. Notice that both the tabular population (p=0.277) and the normal population (p=0.201) are also multivariate normal. When performing the discriminant analysis, the prior probabilities used were: 90% for normal, 5% for annular and 5% for tabular. Second, it was necessary to verify the existence of a low multicollinearity of the independent variables. This is veriﬁed by examining the pooled within-groups correlation matrix using the statistical software package SPSS (1989–2001) (SPSS, IBM Corporation, NY, USA). The desired low multicollinearity of the independents exists if all the entries not on the diagonal are below

Table 5. The p-values for univariate and multivariate normality of the annular, tabular and normal indices p-values for univariate normality Data collection O’Brien Howells Deformation type Annular Tabular Normal B/H annular index 0.112 0.939 0.645 F/L normal index 0.798 0.582 0.682 H/L tabular index 0.250 0.914 0.840

p-values for multivariate normality 0.041 0.277 0.201

Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Int. J. Osteoarchaeol. (2011)

**T. G. O’Brien and A. M. Stanley
**

0.8. The results displayed in Table 6 clearly demonstrate that this requirement to use discriminant analysis is satisﬁed. Third, it was needed to determine whether or not the covariance matrices were statistically different. A Box’sM test was performed which returned a p-value less than 0.0005. Thus, the covariance matrices were statistically different. Therefore, covariance matrices were used as separated by groups. Using SPSS (1989–2001), the coefﬁcients for the discriminant functions were computed. The coefﬁcients and constants are listed in Table 7 and applied in the following two functions:

Function 1 ¼ 4:997Ã B=H þ 29:179Ã F=L þ 19:551Ã H=L À 38:311

Function 2 ¼ 21:466Ã B=H À 28:719Ã F=L þ 24:521Ã H=L À 23:115

Figure 3. Territorial map.

When computed, these functions give the greatest separation of our data. To compute these functions, the data used were O’Brien’s for annular and tabular skulls and Howell’s for the normal skulls. A territorial map was constructed to help with future classiﬁcations. Thus, given a skull’s four measurements (i.e., L, H, B and F), each index can be computed, their values placed into the functions, and a skull’s location plotted on the territorial map (see Figure 3). The skull is classiﬁed as determined by the zone, or region, into which it falls on the map (i.e., the annular, tabular or normal zone). The territorial map also displays the severity of the

Table 6. Correlation matrix for the annular, tabular and normal indices Correlation matrix B/H F/L H/L B/H annular index 1.000 À0.016 À0.308 F/L normal index À0.016 1.000 0.478 H/L tabular index À0.308 0.478 1.000

deformation. For example, if the skull gets plotted in the annular zone but is near the border to the normal zone, it indicates a less moderate degree of deformation. To illustrate how to use these functions and the territorial map, consider the example of skull 1380 from O’Brien’s data set in which the following measurements are applied: B=120, F=110, H=123 and L=173 (see Table 8). Next, the index values are computed: B/H= 0.98, F/L=0.64 and H/L=0.71. But before computing the discriminant function values, consider what outcome could be expected by comparing these index values to the known means for annular, normal and tabular skulls (see Table 9). The standard deviations

Table 8. Measurements and associated indices for example skull #1380 Skull #1380 Cranial measurement (mm) L 173 B 120 H 123 F 110 B/H 0.98 Index values F/L 0.64 H/L 0.71

Table 7. Canonical discriminant function coefﬁcients Function 1 B/H F/L H/L Constant 4.997 29.179 19.551 À38.311 2 21.466 À28.719 24.521 À23.115

Table 9. Means and standard deviations for the annular, tabular and normal indices Means (s.d.) B/H annular index Annular – O’Brien 0.95 (0.052) Normal – Howells 1.07 (0.045) Tabular – O’Brien 1.10 (0.081) F/L normal index 0.68 (0.028) 0.62 (0.019) 0.69 (0.032) H/L tabular index 0.78 (0.042) 0.74 (0.026) 0.83 (0.045)

Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Int. J. Osteoarchaeol. (2011)

**Discriminating Types of Artiﬁcial Cranial Deformation
**

can be used to help determine the strength of any given tendency (see Table 9). Initially, without computing the functions, the standard deviations can be used as early indicators for classiﬁcation. For example, ﬁrst consider just the annular index for skull 1380. To determine its tendency towards being an annular skull, the z-score for the annular index is computed assuming it is an annular skull (z-score= 0.58); assuming it is a normal skull (z-score=1.96); and ﬁnally assuming it is a tabular skull (z-score=1.5). The lower the z-score, the stronger the tendency a skull has towards a certain classiﬁcation. Thus, skull 1380 has a strong tendency towards being classiﬁed as having annular deformation. Now consider only the normal index. Again, the zscores are computed assuming that this skull is a member of a certain population: annular (z-score=1.43), normal (z-score=1.05) and tabular (z-score=1.56). Thus, this skull tends to be normal but not strongly so. Finally, consider only the tabular index. Again, the z-scores are computed assuming that this skull is a member of a certain population: annular (z-score= 1.67), normal (z-score=1.15) and tabular (z-score= 2.67). Thus, this skull leans weakly towards normal, whereas it strongly indicates that this is not a tabular skull, because of the high z-score. Therefore, it can be assumed that this is not a tabular skull. Furthermore, because it only has one strong tendency, it is predicted that this skull is classiﬁed as annular, but also, that the plotted point on the territorial map is located very close to the border of the normal zone. Thus, when the indices for skull, 1380 are applied to the two discriminant functions, the results are: –0.86 for Function 1 and À3.05 for Function 2. These values are plotted as points on the territorial map (see Figure 4), and as expected, the skull is classiﬁed as annular but is almost on the border of the zone for nondeformed skulls. Incidentally, O’Brien also classiﬁed this as an annular skull. Thus, through this relatively straightforward procedure of measuring four craniometric dimensions, computing the indices, performing the functions and plotting the points, an unknown skull can be objectively determined to have been modiﬁed or not. It has been shown in this paper that a visual, qualitative assessment of ACD type employing practised techniques results in relatively poor results when tested on an unknown sample (see Table 10) – being able to correctly identify annular deformation 83.1% of the time, tabular deformation 87.5% of the time and no deformation 73.2% of the time (according to the newer quantitative methods presented here). However, it is much more acceptable to be correct in ACD typing 100% of the time, as demonstrated in our test on the Howells dataset, a known sample. To explain

Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Figure 4. Territorial map with skull 1380 identiﬁed by the symbol: ♦.

Table 10. Predicted membership for deformation type Data group Deformation type as classified by the investigator Annular Normal Tabular Normal Predicted membership by deformation type (number of crania) Annular 83.1% 11.8% 3.6% 0% Normal Tabular 2.6% 15.0% 87.5% 0% (2) (42) (98) (0)

O’Brien Howell

(66) 14.3% (11) (33) 73.2% (205) (4) 8.9% (10) (0) 100% (110)

O’Brien’s relatively low percentage for correctly classifying skulls into the right ACD category, we hypothesise that one’s visual objectivity may become skewed when working with or seeing so many deformed skulls in a laboratory context; such that one tends to classify many deformed skulls as normal.

**Discussion and conclusions
**

Techniques vary considerably on the interpretation and assignment of ACD type. The procedure is complicated further with multiple typologies or styles. For instance, the terms circular, Aymara, highland, circumferential and annular all tend to refer to the same form. This only serves to confuse the investigator and complicate the discrete categorization of deformation type. Therefore, with this new method, only three names are used: normal, annular and tabular. Very few studies actually consider ACD in more than one plane. For example, recent work offers a

Int. J. Osteoarchaeol. (2011)

**T. G. O’Brien and A. M. Stanley
**

different method of ACD classiﬁcation developed from a study of a small sample from Southeast Asia (Clark et al., 2007). Their approach also applies discriminant function analysis to cranial measurements but only taken in the sagittal plane. Regretfully, their technique does not seem to isolate type but simply whether a skull is deformed or not. In contrast, we examine deformation as it affects the whole cranium by utilising multiple dimensions including: height, length and breadth. The use of a multidimensional approach greatly increases accuracy and viability. A large sample of human crania was visually and qualitatively sorted into groups by the ﬁrst author. The two general groups included those showing no deformity and those that exhibited signs of being intentionally modiﬁed. The classiﬁcation methods employed are based on well published and often-used techniques in the scientiﬁc literature. Not knowing for sure if crania were being properly identiﬁed presented a problem that needed a solution. The potential answer is presented in this paper as a mathematical approach to quantifying the ranges of deformation. This included using multiple dimensions that span the cranial vault; developing self-referential indices and using discriminant functions to determine which zone a skull falls into on a territorial map. This simpliﬁed and objective method, applicable for use in the ﬁeld or laboratory, directs this analytical procedure toward a new future; especially as it pertains to investigations of prehispanic cranial samples from the south central Andes. It is suspected that mixed methods, of both qualitative and quantitative, may still preferred to be used but emphasise that a more mathematical approach will diminish levels of discrepancy or inter-observer error. Therefore, we argue that the quantitative approach presented in this paper will enhance the study of artiﬁcially deformed crania by placing it in a more objective sphere of analysis. We look forward to seeing further development as it becomes tested on larger, temporally and spatially diverse samples. For the time being, its application to samples from the south central Andes has been demonstrated. collections under their care; as well as others for their cooperation and support: Marien Béguelin, Jose Cocilovo, Paula Gonzalez, Ivan Perez, Ramon Sanzetenea and Hugo Varela. Furthermore, we would like to thank the constructive and insightful critique given by Ingrid Carlstein, Tony Crane, Mark Ecker, Mark Jacobson, Vera Rayevskaya and especially Dr. Martin and the anonymous reviewers. Much of this research was supported by a University of Northern Iowa faculty fellowship. Grant sponsorship provided by: University of Northern Iowa Faculty Fellowship

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank David Pereira [Museo Arqueológico de San Simon in Cochabamba, Bolivia], Hector M. Pucciarelli [Division Antropologia. Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo de La Plata (Argentina)], Claudia Aranda, Leandro Luna and Myriam Tarrago [Museo Etnograﬁco ‘J. B. Ambrosetti’ in Buenos Aires, Argentina], for granting access to the human skeletal

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