Volume 34, Issue 1 (January 1989)
Cranial Suture Eccentricities: A Case in Which Precocious Closure Complicated Determination of Sex and Commingling
The union of the cranial sutures can follow a somewhat erratic course. While it is recognized that this can cause inaccuracies in estimating age at death, deviant closure patterns can influence assessments other than age. Premature or eccentrically fusing sutures can alter cranial growth and, therefore, shape. Such modified growth vectors can significantly influence metric analysis.
A case is described in which precocious synostosis of the sagittal suture complicated determination of sex in a set of skeletalized remains. Features of the cranium and post-cranial skeleton indicated the individual was male, while the mandible, both metrically and morphologically, appeared to have come from a female. This led to the question of commingling. Techniques are described which were used to resolve these issues.