(Volume publication date September 2007)
ABSTRACT. Morphometrics, the field of biological shape analysis, has undergone major change in recent years. Most of this change has been due to the development and adoption of methods to analyze the Cartesian coordinates of anatomical landmarks. These geometric morphometric (GM) methods focus on the retention of geometric information throughout a study and provide efficient, statistically powerful analyses that can readily relate abstract, multivariate results to the physical structure of the original specimens. Physical anthropology has played a central role in both the development and the early adoption of these methods, just as it has done in the realm of general statistics, where it has served as a major motivating and contributing force behind much innovation. This review surveys the current state of GM, the role of anthropologists in its development, recent applications of GM in physical anthropology, and GM-based methods newly introduced to, or by, anthropology, which are likely to impact future research.