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Determination of Ancestry 22/02/2008 13:56:00

“Race” vs. Ancestry

Historically: Ancestry or “race”

• Phenotype

• Geography

• Language

• Ethnicity

Population Variation

• More variation between smaller groups than larger groups

Population Differences

• Between

o Between populations not a lot of change

• Within

o Within populations there is a larger change

• Factors?

Determining Ancestry

• Non-Metric (Anthroposcopic)

o Visual

• Metric (anthropometric)

• Skull best area

Non-Metric Analysis

• What do we look at?

o Things not easily measured. Things that are normal in the

• Advantages
o No expensive equipment. Just using your eyes. Fairly fast to
do with experience. No need for complete skeleton. No need
to know the individual’s sex.

• Disadvantages

o Interpretative. What somebody sees, might not be what
somebody else sees. The traits are not clearly defined. It is
what something should look like.

Non-Metric Traits

• Inter-orbital breadth

• Orbit shape

• Nasal aperture

• Nasal bone shape

• Mid-face prognathism

• Zygomatics

• Dental


• Orthognathic

o More flat faced

• Orbits are characterized as circular

• Nasal aperture is in the intermediate category

• Nasal bone is tented

• Incisors are often shoveled


• Inter-orbital breadth is pretty wide

• Orbits are described as rectangular

• Nasal aperture is also wide

• Nasal bone is rounded
o described as having a lack of nasal spine and guttering

• molars are crenulated

o poorly defined

• the mid-face is kind of pulled out in front of their face


• Pointed face or narrower

• Zygomatic bones are receding

• Inter-orbital breadth is pretty small

• Nasal aperture is narrow

• Nasal bones are steeples

o Nasal sill and prominent nasal spine

• Orbital shape is more angled

Anterior Femoral Curvature

• Europeans and Asians usually curvature

• Africans are usually flatter

Metric Analysis

• What do we look at?

o Trying to quantify the non-metric traits. Looking at orbital
width, height. The height and width of nasal aperture.

• Advantages

o Apply statistics to it. Create discriminate functions. Some
actual degree of certainty. Better quantification than just
there, or not there. More standard measurements because of
the Osteometric points. Can create regression equations.

• Disadvantages

o Need equipment. Computer software is expensive. Reference
studies might not be useful for modern populations. Sample
sizes are not large enough.

• Jantz & Ousley (1986)

• Most data comes from Forensic Data Bank @ University of

• Discriminant functions

o Trying to separate traits into groups

3D Metric Analysis

• it takes points in 3d space. You can take continuous measurements
with it. You can then model things based on that.
22/02/2008 13:56:00
22/02/2008 13:56:00