Geographic variation of six dermatoglyphic traits in Eurasia

Robert Sokal, Gregory Livshits

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14 Scopus citations


We describe the geographic variation patterns of six dermatoglyphic traits from 144 samples in Eurasia. The methods of analysis include computation of interpolated surfaces, one‐dimensional and directional correlograms, correlations between all pairs of surfaces, and distances between correlograms. There are at least two, probably three, distinct and significant patterns of variation. 1) A general NW‐SE trend for pattern intensity, the main line index, and frequency of hypothenar patterns. 2) A trend from the Middle East to the north and east for frequency of axial triradius and of accessory interdigital triradii. 3) A patchy pattern for frequency of the thenar‐interdigital 1. The results are compatible with a diffusion process between Europe and the peoples of Northern Asia, and possibly with a radiation of populations from the Middle East. The hypothesis of diffusion processes is supported by substantial interpopulation correlations between dermatoglyphic traits that contrast sharply with largely negligible intralocality correlations. © 1993 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-407
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Asia
  • Europe
  • Patterns of variation
  • Spatial variation


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