Sex estimation through discriminant function analysis of an archaeological population from Mistihalj, Montenegro
Foltz, Christine D.
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In an effort to create discriminant function equations for a spatially and temporally specific archaeological population, this study utilized metric analyses of the crania and post-crania in a collection from Mistihalj, Montenegro housed at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. After the data was collected, discriminant function analyses were performed and used in the creation of univariate and multivariate sectioning points for the purpose of estimating the sex of archaeological populations in this region. It is believed that the equations created will supplement other bioarchaeological methods for sex estimation within archaeological populations of the Balkan region where single skeletal elements or commingled remains may be prominent. This project will also provide a better understanding of sexual dimorphism in Balkan populations, which may ultimately help when working to make a biological profile for an unknown individual in this region. The best univariate measures for sex estimation (ranging from 96% to 85% accuracy) are: maximum diameter of the femur head, sagittal diameter of the radius at midshaft, maximum length of the ulna, maximum vertical diameter of the head of the humerus, biauricular breadth, maximum length of the radius, epicondylar breadth of the femur, anterio-posterior diameter of the femur at midshaft, maximum length of the humerus, maximum length of the calcaneus, bizygomatic breadth, and maximum epiphyseal breadth of the proximal tibia. All multivariate equations achieved classification rates above 85%. The best elements for multivariate analysis (above 90% accuracy) are: femur, radius, humerus, cranium, tibia, and ulna. Unexpectedly, two cranial measures are among the most accurate univariate measures, and the cranium provided higher classification rates than expected in comparison to post-cranial elements in the multivariate analyses. The multivariate equations created are only applicable if every measure/landmark required is present on the skeleton in question. As there is often differential preservation of skeletal elements, the use of multiple univariate sectioning points may be better on moderately or very poorly preserved remains.
Thesis (M.S.)--Boston University