Archaeology & Evolution Glossary (V)

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vaginal process: A small downward projecting open cylinder on the petrous pyramid of the temporal, to the inside and in front of the mastoid process, that holds the styloid process.

valgus: An angulation of the femur in which the knees are closer together than the hip joints; “knock-kneed.”

variance: A statistical measure of how values vary from the mean. See also standard deviation.

variance of gene frequency: The variance in the frequency of an allele among a group of populations.

varves: Fine layers of alluvium sediment deposited in glacial lakes. Their annual deposition makes them a useful source of dating.

vascularized: Having blood vessels.

vegetative reproduction: See asexual reproduction.

ventral: The belly side of an animal; the opposite of dorsal.

ventral surface of flake: The smooth surface of a detached piece that contains no previous flake removals excetp sometimes an eraillure flake scar on the bulb of force.

vertebra: One of the bony segments of the vertebral column.

vertebral canal: See neural canal.

vertebral column: A structure made up of the vertebrae, from the cervical to the thoracic and lumbar.

vertebral spine: A blade of bone projecting dorsally from a vertebra, serving as an attachment site for several ligaments and muscles, also called a spinous process.

vibrissae: Facial hairs especially sensitive to touch, surrounding the mouth of many animals.

viral oncogene: A viral gene that transforms a cell it infects to a cancerous state. See also cellular oncogene; oncogenesis.

virilocal: Residence of a married couple with the husband’s kin (formerly called “patrilocal”). Residence rules can be further distinguished as viri-patrilocal (with the husband’s father – patri-virilocal expresses the same pattern), viri-avunculocal (or avunculo-virilocal) – residence with the husband’s maternal uncle.

virulent phage: A phage like T4, which always follows the lytic cycle when it infects bacteria.

visible mutation: A mutation that affects the morphology or physical appearance of an organism.

visual cortex: The outer portion of the brain at the rear of the cerebrum responsible for visual input and association.

visual overlap: The ability to see objects simultaneously with both eyes, a requirement of three-dimensional vision.

Bibliography

Andrefsky, W., Jr. 1998. Lithics: Macroscopic Approaches to Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Keesing, R.M. 1975. Kin Groups and Social Structure. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace.
Renfrew, C., and P. Bahn. 1996. Archaeology: Theories, Methods, and Practice. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc.
Russell, P.J. 1998. Genetics. Menlo Park: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.
Wolpoff, M. 1999. Paleoanthropology. second edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill.