Volume 43, Issue 1 (January 1998)
Two Quantitative Methods for Rib Seriation in Human Skeletal Remains
Accurate rib sequencing is of importance to both forensic anthropologists and human osteologists, but until recently there have been few traits used to aid in the seriation of ribs within a human burial. This study examines two measurements (head to tubercle length and superior costotransverse ligament crest height) for the purpose of aiding rib identification and seriation in human skeletal remains. A sample of 344 ribs from 43 individuals from the 19th century Anglican Church cemetery of St. Thomas in Belleville, Ontario were used for the current study. While the head to tubercle length appeared unreliable for rib seriation, the superior costo-transverse ligament crest height may provide an alternative technique for assessing rib sequence. More importantly though, the method provides a basis on which the identification of the central ribs can be made.