Morphological variation in the human tibia and its potential for profile estimation in human skeletal remains

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Arney, Christle Shannon
Moore-Jansen, Peer H.
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This study evaluates the existence and degree of human variation as it is represented by the morphology of the tibia. Specifically, this research is undertaken in order to quantitatively address the morphological variation of this skeletal element to reveal the inherent variation within the individual, while also evaluating the discrepancies that result due to the sex and age of an individual. It also explores the interaction of tibial morphology with living stature, assessing the ability of the quantified portions of the bone to explain stature. In order to investigate this variation, the tibiae of 382 mature skeletal remains from the Hamann-Todd Osteological Collection in Cleveland, Ohio, were analyzed. These specimens were comprised of 180 females and 202 males whose group affiliation were designated as American Black. Using univariate and multivariate analyses, the morphological variation of the human tibia was assessed in respect to goals outlined above. These analyses revealed the manner by which dimensions of the tibia covaries, providing a better understanding of the innate variation that exists within this bone. These procedures also enabled the evaluation of sex and age effects on the size and shape of the tibia, revealing that the variations due to sex are profound enough to allow accurate classification of the sexes from the morphology of the tibia. While age related changes impact the morphology of the bone, they do not impede the ability of the dimensions to be used as reliable sex indicators. Further, the assessment of the interaction of the tibia and stature demonstrates the degree by which the variables explain the stature variation in the sample, attesting to the capacity of the tibial dimensions to be used as predictors of stature. Finally, the efficacy of particular measurements employed throughout this study to obtain accurate information concerning human variation is established, as well as their applicability to fragmentary remains.

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Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Anthropology.
Wichita State University
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