Intentional cranial vault deformation and induced changes of the cranial base and face

Susan C. Anton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Three morphologically distinct populations of Peruvian crania (n = 130) were metrically analysed to quantify changes resulting from intentional artificial vault deformation. Two of these samples are artificially deformed (anteroposterior [AP] and circumferential [C] types). Measurements taken from lateral radiographs demonstrated that alternative forms of the cranial base angle (N‐S‐Ba, planum angle, planum sphenoidale to plane of the clivus and PANG angle, planum sphenoidale to basion‐sella plane) and the orbital and OANG angles (orbital roof to plane of the clivus and basion‐sella plane, respectively) of both deformed groups increased while the angle S‐Ba‐O decreased significantly with respect to the undeformed (N) sample. Changes in the AP group are largely due to anteroinferior displacement of the basion‐sella plane. Similar changes in group C are amplified by this group's posterosuperior frontal migration. This migration results in a relatively shallow orbit at the orbital plate/frontal squama interface. Unlike the deformation experienced by the external vault plates, the basion‐sella plane orientation remains stable with respect to the Frankfort Horizontal. Additionally, nasal region measurements such as maximum nasal aperture breadth and nasal height were largely stable between each deformed group and the undeformed group. However, facial (bimaxillary and bizygomatic), basicranial, cranial, and frontal breadths decreased significantly from group AP to group N to group C. Thus, gross morphological facial changes between each undeformed group and the control group are largely accounted for by dimensional changes in peripheral structures. These results stress the importance of the dynamic interrelationship between the cranial vault and base in the development of the craniofacial complex.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)253-267
    Number of pages15
    JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jun 1989


    • Craniofacial growth
    • Craniometrics
    • Peru

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Anatomy
    • Anthropology


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