The Estimation of Stature from Measurements of the Isolated Cranium
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It is essential to have methods available to estimate the biological profile when an isolated cranium is the only remnant found of an unidentified individual. Stature is one element of the biological profile that can help narrow the field of possible identifications. However, a method of stature estimation using the cranium has not previously been developed for United States populations. This thesis research studied the correlation between cranial measurements and stature in an American White population, using least squares regression analysis to develop simple and multiple linear regression equations for the estimation of stature from isolated crania. This study used 35 craniofacial measurements of male and female American Whites from the Forensic Anthropology Data Bank (FDB), maintained by the Forensic Anthropology Center at the Department of Anthropology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. A sample of 20 American Whites from the Donated Skeletal Collection at Texas State University-San Marcos was used to test the accuracy of the derived equations.
The best performing single variables had correlations with stature ranging from 0.343 to 0.447 for females and 0.285 to 0.357 for males and produced standard errors of the estimate from 5.982 to 6.857 for females and 7.150 to 7.532 for males. The multiple variable models provided standard errors of 5.640 for females and 6.639 to 6.683 for males. Prediction intervals ranged from plus or minus 11.37 to 13.69cm, or 4.5 to 5.4 inches, for females, and 13.27 to 14.95cm, or 5.2 to 5.9 inches, for males. The equations tested fairly well for both groups, but further testing with a larger sample size is necessary to clarify their accuracy. They compared favorably with those of previous studies examining other elements of the skeleton in American Whites, though more accurate and precise equations should be used when the necessary elements are available.
This investigation has shown that cranial measurements can be used to predict stature in an American White population. The results may contribute in the future to the estimation of stature from isolated crania, providing another piece of critical information for the purpose of the identification of unknown individuals.