Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Smith, Fred H.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Anthropology


Morphology; Frontal sinus


Although occasionally studied, the frontal sinuses have always been poorly understood both in their function and variation. It was the purpose of this study to systematically investigate the range of variation and possible associated factors in frontal sinus size. Samples were drawn from regions that represent five distinct modern human populations; Papua New Guinea, the Philippine islands, Baghdad and Kish in Iraq, Marquez Peru, and Egypt. A variety of measurements and data were collected for each individual. Twenty-nine cranial measurements were used to place each individual within the context of traditional craniometries. Sinus data was derived from anterior- posterior radiographs which were digitized and measured on an IBM compatible PC. Finally, climate data was obtained for each region represented in the study. Statistically significant frontal sinus size differences were found, with the Baghdad Iraq and Egypt showing larger frontal sinus size than the Papua New Guinea, Kish Iraq, Philippine, and Peruvian samples. Craniometric data failed to statistically correlate with sinus size, prompting exploration for other potential factors. Climate data, and specifically differential seasonal variation in temperature, was found to significantly correlate with frontal sinus size among all the groups except the Kish and Peruvian samples. This study demonstrated that frontal sinus size does differ between certain modern human populations. Further, craniometries failed to provide the necessary correlation to explain the observed differences. Finally, a strong experimental positive correlation was found between annual seasonal temperature fluctuation and frontal sinus size.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [87]-90)


viii, 104 pages




Northern Illinois University

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