Volume 40, Issue 5 (September 1995)
Challenge on the Frontier: Discerning American Indians from Whites Osteologically
Throughout much of the western region of the United States the traditional metric method for discerning Amerindian skeletal remains from those of Whites or Blacks, that is, the Giles-Elliot discriminant function approach , has simply been shown to be ineffective [3,4]. It also seems to fail at correctly identifying the crania of Black males . The region of the West that produces the lowest percentages of correct placement of American Indian skeletons appears to be the Northwestern Plains (Wyoming, Montana). For this reason, in that area of the West a number of new methods have emerged (both metric and non-metric) in recent years. The effectiveness of each of these approaches in the process of skeletal identification varies, but most of them appear to be quite useful in forensic contexts. It is also suggested that some additional new approaches which seem to hold much promise for the future, be tested objectively as well, in order to ascertain their effectiveness in forensic casework.