The 81st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2012)


Ancestry and the osteometric assessment of the femur

ELIZABETH C. OKRUTNY1, JOHN E. BYRD2 and JENNIE JIN2.

1Department of Anthropology, University of Central Florida, 2Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command Central Identification Laboratory, Honolulu, JPAC-CIL

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Previous analyses examined the femur as an indicator of ancestry regarding anterior curvature of the diaphysis, torsion, and anterior-posterior flatness of the subtrochlear diaphysis. While showing promise, the first two attributes lack quantitative means of comparison and focus on differences between European and African ancestry. The latter focuses primarily on comparisons of European Americans and Plains Region Native Americans. We hypothesize that there are ancestral differences in the femur and that these differences can be examined metrically through the minimum superior-inferior diameter of the femoral neck and ratios calculated from the minimum diameter anterior-posterior of the diaphysis divided by the maximum diameter of the diaphysis along the linea aspera. This study employed measurements gathered from Hamann-Todd, Terry, JPAC-CIL, and Goyang Collections (total n=104), combining sexes. JPAC-CIL, Terry and Hamann-Todd Collections are composed primarily of European and African Americans, while the Goyang Collection is composed of entirely of Koreans from the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910). Initial statistical analyses (SPSS v.19) using discriminant analysis comparing European and Asian ancestries reveals anterior-posterior diaphysis measurement ratios and diameters of the femoral neck correctly classify European individuals with >87% certainty and Asian individuals with >83% certainty yielding an overall classification around 86.5%. Results suggest that the femur can be metrically assessed to determine ancestry and could be developed further to include three main ancestral groups present in the United States today. Additional analyses are planned that will include discriminant analysis to develop models for European vs. Korean, and European vs. African ancestries, while accounting for sex.

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