High Impact Practices Student Showcase Spring 2024

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Dr. Sarah Freidline

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About the Author

Griffon Binkowski and Channing Cook are both undergraduate anthropology students. Binkowski works to reveal humanity’s collective past by focusing his efforts on nondestructive methods of diet and ancestry estimation within bioarchaeology. Cook is apart of the Navajo tribe and focuses his efforts on using bioarchaeology to work with and better serve indigenous interest groups.

Abstract, Summary, or Creative Statement

Ancestry estimation finds its place in many fields of anthropology, including biological anthropology, osteoarchaeology, and paleopathology. A biological profile creates a framework for identity; with ancestry, it can aid researchers in determining the population group an individual is most genetically affiliated with. The heritability of dental traits makes teeth useful in estimating affinity. Ancestry estimation statistical programs using dentition, however, were originally developed upon limited and well- preserved databases, so archaeological Indigenous individuals are often grouped incorrectly as East Asian due to shared genetic traits. By using RStudio for anthropological statistical analysis, we aim to test the preservation bias and population specificity of the program rASUDAS in comparison to the established field of odontometrics. We hypothesize that rASUDAS will classify the Indigenous Maya individuals as East Asian, and odontometrics will be more accurate in ancestry estimation.


Anthropology; rASUDAS; ancestry estimation; indigenous archaeology; archaeology; bioarchaeology; odontometrics; metric ancestry estimation; dental traits; shoveling; dental morphology; bioarchaeology

Comparative analysis of metric and non-metric ancestry estimation methods of Maya individuals