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Determination of biological sex 30/01/2008 12:53:00

Sexual dimorphism

• Males and females generally are different sizes.

• Selection for larger bodied males

Techniques

• Non-metric

o Observational techniques

o There are certain parts of the skeleton that will look a certain
way on males and others in females.

• Metric

o Measurement

• DNA

Skeletal Elements

• Pelvis

• Cranium (and mandible)

• Long bones

Male pelvis

• Small pelvic outlet

• Narrow subpubic angle

• Shorter pubis
• Triangular pubic body

• Narrow greater sciatic notch

Female pelvis

• Large pelvic outlet

• Wide subpubic angle

• Longer pubis

• Rectangular pubic body

• Ventral arc (only found in females)

• Wider greater sciatic notch

Estimation of sex: Juveniles

• Very difficult to do accurately

• Puberty = sexual dimorphism

Additional technique for sex from adult pelvis

Pubic bone: phenice technique

• Accurate 95% of the time

• Ventral arc

• Subpubic concavity

• Ischiopubic ramus (medial aspect)


Sex estimation: skull

• Cranium

o Supraorbital ridges

o Eye orbits

o Muscle markings

• Mandible

o Chin

o Teeth

• Male

o Skulls

 Larger, more robust

 Sloping forehead

 larger brow ridges

 Blunt orbital margins

 Large mastoids

 Marked nuchal area

 Square chin

o Female
 Smaller, more gracile

 Vertical forehead

 Smaller browridges

 Sharp orbital margins

 Small mastoids

 Gracile nuchal area

 Pointed chin

Estimating sex from long bones

• Mainly metric

• Based on robusticity & length

• Femoral head diameter

• Calcification of Costal Cartilage

o Type I

 Starts from the bottom of the cartilage

 Usually in males

o Type II

 Starts from the center. (lingual)

 Usually in females
Sex estimation: Metric Analysis

• Statistical methods

• Discriminant functions

o Equations that separate individuals into specific groups

o Male or female

o Ancestral groups

• How do we use it?

o Sectioning points

 Over a certain value = male

 Under a certain value = female

 In-between values = uncertain

Sex estimation: DNA

• Amelogenin gene

• Females = XX = 1 band/peak

• Males = XY = 2 bands/peaks

Recovery & Processing of Remains

Recovery

• Goals
o Complete recovery

o Don’t damage the remains!

• Techniques

o Forensic archaeology

• Every situation is unique!

Processing

• Documentation!

• Photographs

• Radiographs (x-rays)

• Cleaning the bones

o Maceration

• analysis
30/01/2008 12:53:00
30/01/2008 12:53:00