The Minoans : demography, physical variation and affinities
The present study, using modern analytical methods, is the first comprehensive discussion of the physical anthropology of Crete in the third and second millennia BC. The text is divided into ten chapters of which the first three are introductory. The first chapter summarizes previous anthropological research on Crete and sets out the aims of the thesis. The second chapter describes Crete's geographical situation and the known evidence for the prehistoric environment of the populations under study. The third chapter discusses their cultural background and also provides a chronological frame of reference. The following chapters present the material studied, much of it newly excavated, and describe the nature of the material and its archaeological context. Unfortunately very little early skeletal material survives, so that this investigation mainly relies on later, better preserved material from numerous Minoan chamber tombs. The demographic data extracted is discussed. The methods of multivariate analysis of the metrical data and their results are described giving their interpretation. There follows a discussion of the non-metrical traits observed in the population and their possible biological significance. The evidence of oral and skeletal pathology, using photographic and radiographic illustrations, is presented and discussed. In the final chapter, the conclusions, the biological variation of the Cretan population and links with mainland Greece and the rest of the Eastern Mediterranean are considered. Some insight into the relationships between the populations is offered.