Volume 35, Issue 3 (May 1990)
Stature Estimation from Fragmentary Femora: A Revision of the Steele Method
The skeletal remains presented to forensic anthropologists are often fragmentary. Previously described methods of estimating stature from segments of long bones have not proved satisfactory because of the difficulty involved in identifying the precise anatomical landmarks by which they are defined. This study represents an assessment of the feasibility of stature estimation from fragmentary femora. A sample of 200 males and females, blacks and whites (total sample = 800), was obtained from the Terry Collection. New regression equations for the estimation of maximum femur length and stature from three well-defined and easy-to-measure segments of the femur are presented. This technique represents an improvement over methods currently in use for estimating stature from femur fragments; the location of the anatomical landmarks and the accuracy of the prediction are enhanced. The applicability of these formulae to a modern forensic sample is addressed with regard to secular trends in stature increase and changes in body segment proportions.