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Title: The reliability of osteometric techniques for the sex determination of burned human skeletal remains
Authors: Gonçalves, David 
Issue Date: 2011
Serial title, monograph or event: Homo - Journal of Comparative Human Behaviour
Volume: 5
Issue: 62
Abstract: The influence of heat-induced shrinkage on the osteometric sexual dimorphism of human skeletons is still poorly known. In order to investigate this issue, a sample composed of 84 Portuguese individuals cremated at a modern crematorium was examined using standard measurements from the femur, the talus and the calcaneus. In addition, sex determination of the sample was attempted by using osteometric standards developed from the Coimbra collection of identified skeletons. This was carried out to assess the extent of the effect of heat-induced shrinkage on the correct classification of known-sex skeletons while using standards developed on unburned skeletons. Results demonstrated that sexual dimorphism was still observable in the sample of calcined bones despite shrinkage. However, the application of conventional osteometric standards was unsuccessful. As expected, shrinkage caused most females to be correctly classified according to sex, but the sex allocation of males was very poor for all standard measurements. The results were obtained on a small sample but suggest that univariate metric techniques specifically developed for calcined bones may be valuable for sex determination. This would bring new methodological possibilities for biological anthropology and would enlarge the set of techniques regarding sex determination of burned skeletal remains.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jchb.2011.08.003
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CIAS - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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