Virtual Anthropology of Prehistoric Portugal

The primary goal of the VAPP Project is to document and interpret patterns of external and internal dental morphological variation among prehistoric humans spanning the Upper Paleolithic to Bronze Age of Portugal. A biocultural approach that grounds human biological variation (i.e., dental morphology) within the broader archaeological contexts of climatic, environmental, and socioeconomic change will be used. Through an interdisciplinary and integrative methodology, we will address aspects prehistoric population dynamics and dental structural reduction using a temporally-sensitive microregional sample. Furthermore, the integrated methodology provides cross-validation for traditional (external) and virtual (internal) approaches to dental morphology. An open-access database of VAPP Project results will be established to facilitate increasingly fine-grained regional and interregional analyses by other researchers. Consequently, results from the VAPP Project will inform our understanding of major biocultural transitions in prehistoric Portugal, while simultaneously advancing existing methodologies, and facilitating future research through the principles of Open Science. There are four research objectives: 1) analyze external crown and root morphology; 2) analyze internal dental morphology using virtual methodologies; 3) interpret patterns of morphological variation across temporallypartitioned groups of Upper Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, and Bronze Age peoples; and 4) crossvalidate the methodologies.

Duration: 2020-2022

Coordinator (PI): John Charles Willman

Participants: Ana Maria Silva (as Supervisor, CIAS), Cláudia Cunha (CIAS), Tiago Tomé (CIAS), Luís Marado (CIAS), Vítor Matos (CIAS)

Financial support: Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship – Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2018