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Ancestry/Race determination using the human skeleton. Forensic Anthropology 11-7-2008. Objective. We will spend the next several weeks learning how to draw up a biological profile using human skeletal remains Ancestry Sex Stature Age Trauma and Identifying features. Methods of Analysis.

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objective
Objective
  • We will spend the next several weeks learning how to draw up a biological profile using human skeletal remains
    • Ancestry
    • Sex
    • Stature
    • Age
    • Trauma and Identifying features
methods of analysis
Methods of Analysis
  • Anthropometry; ‘measurement of mankind’
  • Osteometrics; measurements of skeleton
  • Craniometrics; measurements of skull
  • Anthroposcopy: visual differences
craniometric measures
Craniometric measures
  • Defined set of points on the skull, allow for precise, reproducible measurements of the skull
  • Frankfort horizontal (anatomical position) – line up bottom margin of the orbit with the external auditory meatus
craniometric points
Craniometric points
  • Set of points for precise cranial measurements
  • Describe specific areas of the skull
  • Some are single points, some paired
craniometric points6
Craniometric points
  • Used to measure height, breadth, thickness of…
    • E.g. max cranial length, max cranial breadth, bizygomatic breadth, max cranial height, cranial base length, upper facial height, nasal height/breadth, biorbital breadth, mastoid length, mid-orbital width, etc….
which to know
Bregma

Glabella

Nasion

Nasospinale

Gnathion

Gonion

Alare

Orbitale

Euryon

Vertex

Apex

Pterion

Lambda

Mastoidale

Basion

Opisthion

Inion

opisthocranion

Which to know…
race ancestry
Race/ancestry
  • Like sex, race is discrete and continuous
  • Sex 2 categories, race many
  • Sex biologically determined, race categories culturally determined (not genetic)
race ancestry9
Race/ancestry
  • Usually analysis limited to adult remains
  • There is much overlap between categories
  • Remains that exhibit ambiguous grouping should be considered as minority group
    • E.g. Remains with equal white and black characteristics considered black
race ancestry10
Race/ancestry
  • U.S. ethnic groups
    • White (Caucasian)*
    • Black (African/Negroid)*
    • Hispanics
    • Asian (Mongoloid)*
    • Native American
  • other
anthropomorphic traits of ancestry
Anthropomorphic traits of ancestry
  • Can take some time to become familiar with these traits
  • Remember – discrete categories are subjective
    • E.g. projecting vs non-projecting
    • Remains may be ‘intermediate’
ancestry traits table 7 2 http webtest austin utexas edu eforensics ancestryestimationtop cfm
Ancestry traits (Table 7.2)http://webtest.austin.utexas.edu/eforensics/AncestryEstimationTop.cfm
  • Nose
    • Root (nasion)
    • Bridge (C)
    • Spine (D)
  • Nose
    • Lower border (sill) B
    • Width (opening) A

A: Nasal openingB: Nasal sillC: Nasal boneD: Nasal spine

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/visibleproofs/media/special/ii_a_103g_3_ancestry.jpg

ancestry traits
Face

Projection/profile

Height/shape

Shape of orbit

Orbit lower border

Vault

Browridges

Muscle markings

Sutures

postcoronal

Ancestry traits
jaws and teeth
Jaws and teeth
  • Tooth size
  • Shape of dental arch/palate
  • Incisors
  • Gonial inversion
ancestry and the skull
East Asian/Native American

Zygomatic arch tubercle projection

Orthognathic (flat)

Nasal spine average projection

Little or no overbite

Teeth

Wide palate

Elliptical (rounded) tooth row

Shovel-shaped incisors

Straight palatine suture

Ancestry and the skull

p. 48 Burns

ancestry and the skull17
Northern European

Narrow nasal aperature

Sharp nasal margin

Orthognathic

Overbite

Crowded dentition

Teeth

Narrow palate with jagged/arched suture

Parabolic row

Straight incisors

Most common group missing 3rd molar

Ancestry and the skull
ancestory and the skull
Central to South African

Wide nasal aperture w/ guttered margin

Prognathic profile w/ projecting maxilla

No nasal spine

Teeth

Moderate palate width w/ curved palatine suture

Hyperbolic dental row/ U-shaped

Straight incisors

Ancestory and the skull
ancestry and the femur
Ancestry and the femur
  • Anterior curvature varies with populations
  • African populations generally have straighter femora
  • European, Asian populations have greater curvature
  • Metrically: AP/ML width of femur distal to Lesser trochanter
craniometrics and ancestry
Craniometrics and ancestry
  • Direct measurements
    • Distal femur: angle of intercondylar shelf
      • Need xrays
  • Indexes
    • Height divided by width
      • Maxillofrontal, zygoorbital, alpha