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Current developments in anthropological genetics. Volume 2. Edited by M.H. Crawford and J.H. Mielke. New York Academic Press. 1982. xvii + 525 pp. figures tables index. $59

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AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 62333-340 (1983)
Book Reviews
CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS
IN ANTHROPOLOGI-cies should have been properly indexed to
avoid confusion, and this too should have
CAL GENETICS.Volume 2. Edited by M.H.
Crawford and J.H. Mielke. New York: Aca- been done in their expression for heterozygosity per locus (p. 19). Crawford and Bach
demic Press. 1982. xvii + 525 pp., figures,
Enciso (Chapter 31, too, have erred on similar
tables, index. $59.50 (cloth).
occassions (p. 53.). By the same token, in a
number of places it was felt that some qualifications were needed in support of stateUnlike the first volume of Current Deuel- ments that may otherwise be wrongly cited
opments in Anthropological Genetics, this in the future. For example, conclusions like
second one, subtitled Ecology and Population (1) “increased heterozygosity is due to interStructure, is truly a blend of theory and its subpopulation migration in the form of mate
practice, exploring the interfaces of popula- exchange” (p. 631, and (2) “Immunoglobulin
tion genetics and physical anthropology. In analysis of the sera of this population should
this collection of 16 chapters extending over help resolve this problem” (p. 67) should have
500 pages of reading the editors take us on a been justified in more detail, without which
scientific expedition around the globe show- the rationale of these stipulations remains
ing the population structure of man and his unclear. In addition, some contributions deecology in almost every predominant form. mand a lot of background knowledge from
The editors must be commended for a job the readers. Absence of sufficient motivawell done in putting together this volume, tional transitions between ideas to guide the
which testifies that the subject of anthropol- readers made such contributions read like
ogical genetics is far from being only a spec- compilations of loose thoughts. Morton’s conulative science; its richness of observational
tribution (Chapter 15) is one such example.
facts is very well documented in each contriNevertheless, these drawbacks do not outbution.
weigh the importance of this volume. The
Since the volume not only spans the entire strengths of anthropological genetics as a
spectrum of human population structure and multidisciplinary science are nicely brought
ecology but also reaches the depth of inter- out in almost every chapter through amalpretation of the major observations, a com- gamation of demographic and genetic inforprehensive review of each chapter is beyond mation (as done in Chapters 1 , 2 , 6 , 7 , 1 0 ,16),
the scope of this limited space. Pollitzer, in ecology and genetics (Chapters 1, 4, 6, ll),
his summary chapter, has, however, done this morphology and genetic marker studies
job adequately. While almost all major hu- (Chapters 8, 131, or by diversified analyses of
man groups are represented in this collec- genetic data alone (Chapters 3 , 5 , 9 , 15).
Modern genetics is going through a revotion, the absence of any contribution on the
complex mosaic of population structures lution due to the advances in recombinant
found in the Indian subcontinent is quite DNA technology. Evolutionary histories of
conspicuous in this otherwise complete scan- genes and populations are being studied a t
the molecular level by thorough but as yet
ning of the entire human species.
The heterogeneous amalgamation of the- time- and money-consuming laboratory
ory and data practiced by the different con- methods. The classical tools of morphologitributors does not escape a critical reader cal, demographic, and serological methods
either. The editors, in my opinion, should are thereby falling away from popularity in
have taken more caution in making the some circles a s means of understanding the
mathematical expressions more precise, if not nature of human diversity. While this new
uniform, throughout the book. In their pres- technology is providing information that is
ent forms, some of them can create a great often more precise, this volume clearly reemdeal of confusion to young readers in partic- phasizes that the vast information that is
ular. For example, in O’Rourke and Bach available in the literature on anthropogeEnciso’s representation of the R-matrix (eq. netic studies can still be fruitfully inter5.1 on p. 18),the subscripts of allele frequen- preted. This is so since such information is
0 1983 ALAN R. LISS, INC.
334
BOOK REVIEWS
available for the timepoints that we will
never be able to recapture any more and/or
on populations that cease to exist today or
have undergone changes beyond alterations.
As a typical example, Roberts (Chapter 13)
demonstrates that such dynamic changes of
population structure can be pictured through
crude but inexpensive cross-examination of
the interwoven fabric of historical records,
documented ecology, and existing morphological and gene marker data on our generation as well as on our immediate progenitors.
In summary, this volume, like its predecessor, certainly provides a n up-to-date account
of the subject and should be useful to experts
and beginners alike. Its quality production
and binding should withstand the heavy use
that it merits, although the price is a bit high
for it to be shelved in a n anthropologist’s or
a population geneticist’s personal library.
ATLASOF RADIOGRAPHS
OF EARLYMAN. By
M. F. Skinner and G. H. Sperber. New York:
Alan R. Liss, Inc. 1982. xiv + 346 pp., figures, references, index. $70.00 (cloth).
the Introduction. The radiographs are presented in geographical groups. These are:
Subsaharan Africa, which is represented predominantly by Sterkfontein and Swartkrans
specimens, North Africa, which has radiographs of two mandibular fragments, Europe (the largest part of the atlas), and
miscellaneous areas. This last includes Skhul
1, the Trinil femur, and the Old Crow specimen. The femur seems out of place here and
it is unfortunate that the contrast of its radiograph is such that the medullary cavity cannot be seen, despite the authors’ hopes about
the future use of radiographs of postcranial
bones.
The quality of the reproductions of the radiographs is, by and large, excellent, especially since some of the more heavily
mineralized specimens must have presented
formidable technical problems. The publisher has also gone to a great deal of trouble
to give high-quality prints.
I am not a t all sure that the atlas will find
a large readership. It will be of great use to
those who deal with descriptions and analysis of original hominid specimens. It will also
help those involved in the understanding of
craniofacial growth from a n evolutionary
perspective as well a s those interested in aging immature fossil hominid specimens. The
best test of its utility will then be when the
results of the authors’ own studies on these
radiographs are published.
This atlas results from the joining of two
sets of radiographs that were part of the data
bases of the authors’ Ph.D. dissertations.
G.H. Sperber worked on the morphology of
the cheek teeth of the early hominids from
the S. African cave sites. M.F. Skinner
worked on a wider range of hominids and
looked at tooth maturation and wear together with craniofacial growth. The stated
purpose of the atlas is to present these new
radiographs of fossil hominids so that other
researchers can profit by them. The authors
point out that although the radiographs were
taken to help answer their own questions,
they feel that there is much more information to be extracted from them. They point,
for example, to studies that might be undertaken on trabecular orientation as it might
relate to masticatory and other forces and on
the variability in cranial vault and long bone
cortex thicknesses. They also hope that, because age estimation is subjective, the readership will check their age estimates of
dentally immature specimens and improve
on them, if possible.
The clear format gives the following information: site, specimen, number, geological
archeological and chronological context, brief
description, dental age, and some brief selfexplanatory comments. Their dental description and aging methods are clearly stated in
RANAJITCHAKRABORTY
Center for Demographic and
Population Genetics
University of Texas
Houston, Texas
ALANWALKER
The Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland
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