Indexed on: 01 Jun '90Published on: 01 Jun '90Published in: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
The occurrence of mylohyoid groove bridging and jugular foramen bridging was determined in a population of adult Pre-Columbian Chileans. Two hundred forty-one crania (110 males, 131 females) were examined for jugular foramen bridging and 464 mandibles (252 males and 212 females) were observed for mylohyoid groove bridging. The overall incidence of jugular foramen bridging was 14.94%, with females showing a higher occurrence (18.32%) than males (10.91%); however, no statistical significance was found between the sexes. The right side showed a greater incidence than the left, but again no statistical difference was noted and the occurrence of this trait was found to be associated between the sides. This frequency of jugular foramen bridging is higher than that found in other studies and approaches that reported in North American Eskimo populations. In the case of mylohyoid groove bridging, the incidence was 4.09% with no difference found between the sexes. This frequency of occurrence is less than the values reported previously for the other American populations of Mongoloid ancestry including the Pre-Columbian Peruvian population. The importance of nonmetric skeletal traits for defining population groups and their usefulness as anthropological tools is discussed. It is concluded that hard tissue variations such as bony bridging may be reliable markers to aid in discretely identifying population groups, but their importance can be significantly enhanced by coupling as many traits as possible in future studies.