Recent studies of secular change and allometry have observed differential limb proportions between the sexes, among and within populations. These studies suggest that stature prediction formulae developed from American Whites may be inappropriate for European populations. The purpose of this investigation is to present more appropriate stature prediction equations for use in the Balkans to aid present-day identifications of the victims of genocide. The reference sample totals 545 white males obtained from World War II data. The Eastern European sample totals 177 males and includes both Bosnian and Croatian victims of the recent war. Mean stature for Eastern Europeans was obtained from the literature.
Results show that formulae based on Trotter and Gleser systematically underestimate stature in the Balkans. Because Eastern Europeans are taller than American Whites it is appropriate to use this as an “informative prior” that can be applied to future cases. This informative prior can be used in predictive formulae, since it is probably similar to the sample from which the Balkan forensic cases were drawn. Based on Bayes' Theorem new predictive stature formulae are presented for Eastern Europeans.
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