Temporal and Geographic Variation in Robusticity

Brigitte Holt, Erin Whittey, Markku Niskanen, Vladimir Sládek, Margit Berner, Christopher B. Ruff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


This chapter shows how European limb robusticity changed in response to the major socio-economic transitions of the period spanning approximately 40,000years to the present. Analyses of Late Pleistocene and early Holocene human skeletal remains show that long bone diaphyseal robusticity patterns track changes and variability in subsistence behavior. Overall temporal trends were assessed through linear regressions of upper and lower limb robusticity variables and calibrated dates. Bone robusticity was evaluated by comparing average bone rigidity or strength, standardized for body size differences, and bone shape through comparisons of relative strength in different planes. Although the impact of terrain should be reflected only in the lower limb, upper limb bone robusticity and shape variables were also analyzed, as a kind of 'control.' The analysis by terrain levels demonstrates the strong effect of topography on lower limb robusticity patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSkeletal Variation and Adaptation in Europeans
Subtitle of host publicationUpper Paleolithic to the Twentieth Century
Number of pages42
ISBN (Electronic)9781118628430
ISBN (Print)9781118627969
StatePublished - Dec 19 2017


  • Bone shape
  • Early holocene human skeletal robusticity
  • Geographic variation
  • Human body size
  • Late pleistocene human skeletal robusticity
  • Long bone diaphyseal robusticity
  • Socio-economic transitions
  • Temporal variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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