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An Admixture Approach to Trihybrid Ancestry Variation in the Philippines With Implications for Forensic Anthropology

NCJ Number
Human Biology Volume: 90 Issue: 3 Dated: 2018 Pages: 177-195
Date Published
19 pages
Based on a forensic anthropological perspective, this study conducted mixed ancestry estimation for modern Filipinos with geographic origins in the Philippines.

The study estimated continental ancestry, using craniometrics from four sources: a new documented collection of current forensic significance from the Manila North Cemetery; the Howells cranial series representing a sample of unclaimed individuals from Manila, but said largely to originate from more remote areas, with dates of death before 1940; the Hanihara sample aggregated from various locations and time periods across the Philippines; and the Hanihara series capturing various local indigenous ethnic groups that are together identified as Philippine Negrito. Parental craniometrics were selected from the Howells data set and more recently collected samples from Europe and Asia. Using unsupervised clustering, the study investigated the algorithmically defined three-cluster, or trihybrid admixture, model to infer continental ancestry for each individual, reporting their relative proportions of Asian, European, and African admixture. Similar clustering procedures were used to identify more complex models to explore patterns of affinity between the four Philippine samples and the recently acquired samples from Vietnam, Thailand, China (Hong Kong), Japan, and Korea. These analyses provide insight into the relationships between both macro- and microgeographic regions, revealing at the country level how different population dynamics structure the ancestral makeup of Asian peoples, especially in the degree of European and African admixture. The study also revealed substructure within the representation of modern Filipinos, such that differences in the patterns of three-way admixture exist between each of the four Philippine samples. By mapping the cluster patterns on a global scale, these analyses reveal that with craniometrics just as with genetic loci, patterns of affinity are informative of the complex history of Southeast Asia, as they suggest vestiges of migration, trade, and colonialism, as well as more recent periods of isolation, marginalization, and occupation. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2018