Morphometric assessment of orbital aperture shape
The shape of the orbital aperture has long been a method for assessing both sex and group affiliation in human skeletal remains. Very few studies have been undertaken to test the validity of this observation. The present study analyzes the shape of the orbital aperture and immediately surrounding structures to test their usefulness in determining both sex and group affiliation. The orbit and mid-face were defined via a series of twenty-one measurements and three observations which were recorded on a sample of American Blacks and Whites from the Hamman-Todd Collection. Results identified statistically significant differences in several of the measurements between both sex and group affiliation. Furthermore, through the use of discriminant function models, there is evidence for changes in the size and shape of the orbit for the four iterations of group and sex (White males – White females; Black males – Black females; White males – Black males; White females – Black females) as well as the pooled sex and groups sample. The success rate of these models ranges from 43 percent to 84 percent, indicating limited usefulness of both the discriminant function models and orbital aperture shape for the purpose of group and sex estimation. This study identified the weakness of the nonmetric standards, and the limited reliability of traditional definitions of orbital aperture shape.
Thesis (M.A): Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Anthropology