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Principles Underlying the Determination of Population Affinity with Craniometric Data

David Bulbeck

Published: 2011/09/01

Abstract

This paper investigates the value for forensic anthropology of craniometric data in assessing population affinity. It finds that generally speaking cranial measurements do not contain the information to directly make a positive match for a skull’s population affinity. Rather, cranial measurements should be thought of as containing information that allows for the elimination of any population affinity for the skull which would be a mismatch. A minimum of 13 measurements is required to capture enough information to be confident that the eliminated population affinities are indeed the mismatches. In addition, if a reasonably sized sample of crania from the same population is available for analysis, the affinities of the sampled population can be reliably assessed using the methodology outlined in this paper.

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