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

Putting pieces together again: Statistical formula for Os Coxa and Sacrum


Anthropology, Western Michigan Unversity

Saturday All day, Clinch Concourse Add to calendar

Ancient and modern mass graves with commingled human remains are in need of investigation all over the world. Important collections include those of the Holocaust, Iraqi Kurds, the Battle of Wisby and the Titanic (if she is raised), just to name a few. One major hindrance to this investigation is the sometimes difficult task of putting individuals back together again due to postmortem processes that can take place in and around mass graves such as fluvial movement, grave site disturbances or the settling of dirt separating different elements. Many bones can be matched by color or general fit as belonging to a given individual. But when these methods do not work due to investigator bias or inexperience, more than one element as a possible fit or, there are no matching colors, a statistical formula may be helpful.

This study explores the possibility of deriving a formula to statistically match both left and right os coxae with its respective sacrum. Approximately two hundred males and two hundred females from the Hamann-Todd collection housed at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History (CMNH) were examined. Two different measurements each were taken from the left and right os coxa auricular surface and left and right sacro-iliac joint articulation surface for a total of eight measurements from each individual. The values were statistically assessed using regression formulae. Male regression analysis results show 76% with a p-value of >0.001. Upon completion, female results are expected to show similar results.

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