An investigation regarding the variation in cranial morphology between American blacks and whites was conducted using triangulation schemes of inter-landmark distances and converting these to three dimensional coordinate data. A least squares superimposition method and Euclidean distance analysis were utilized to obtain parameters for classifying individuals in our sample, consisting of 19 black and nineteen white crania from the William M. Bass, III Donated and Forensic collections curated at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Thirty-six caliper measurements were collected on each skull based on 14 homologous cranial landmarks (nasion, bregma, lambda, prosthion, subspinale, basion, frontomalare (left and right), zygoorbitale (left and right), zygotemporale (left and right), and left and right asterion). The results are compared to traditional discriminant analysis.
The classification results using the new morphometry are comparable to traditional discriminant analysis. However, the new morphometry can provide information as to the specific location of morphological variation that cannot be obtained with discriminant analysis.
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