The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)

The Biological Anthropology Database Legacy of Richard L. Jantz


1Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution, 2Department of Anthropology/Archaeology, Mercyhurst University

Thursday Afternoon, 301E Add to calendar

Due to his diverse research interests, Richard L. Jantz has established and continuously refined significant biological anthropology databases. Jantz’s analytical work with historic and pre-historic skeletal series has produced a massive database of osteometric and non-metric observations of the inhabitants of North America. This large database has been instrumental in understanding early migrations, micro-evolution and secular changes of these populations. Having access to the W.W. Howells world-wide craniometric database, Jantz has made this important dataset available on-line to researchers.

With dermatoglyphics expert Heinz Brehme, a database of print classifications and ridge counts for over 40,000 individuals from population groups from around the world has been amassed. Jantz’s anthropometric interests lead him to database and archive over 17,000 North Native American groups from the anthropometrics collected by Franz Boas in the 1890’s.

The most noted databasing effort by Jantz is his establishment of the Forensic Data Bank (FDB), a repository of modern American osteological observations. These data are used by forensic anthropologists directly or indirectly through the use of FORDISC software. The FDB continues to expand through contributions by physical anthropologists, Jantz’s students and Jantz own continuing efforts. The FDB was the inspiration for a subadult radiographic database being assembled, with the future in using CT scan data.

These significant contributions by the vision and untiring work of Richard Jantz has provided for hundreds of student papers, Master’s theses, dissertations and professional research investigations. All that have utilized these data are indebted to this consummate scholar.

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