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An update on stature estimation in prehistoric native Americans of Ohio.

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AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 92:395-399 (1993)
Brief Communication: An Update on Stature Estimation in
Prehistoric Native Americans of Ohio
PAUL W. SCIULLI AND MYFL4 J. GIESEN
Department ofdnthropology, The Ohio State University,
Columbus, Ohio 43210
KEY WORDS
Height, Regression equations, Archaic period,
Native Americans
ABSTRACT
We present regression equations to estimate skeletal height
and stature for prehistoric Native Americans of Ohio. The regression equations are based on skeletal height as the dependent variable and various
postcranial elements and combinations of elements as the independent variables. A total of 171 individuals, 95 males and 76 females, make up the
sample.
The present sample includes the 64 individuals we previously used for
stature estimation (Sciulli et al.: Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 83:275-280, 1990)
and 107 additional individuals distributed more widely in time and space. The
present more inclusive sample, however, shows the same proportional contributions to skeletal height of each skeletal height component as the previous
sample. This result suggests that these proportions were a consistent feature
of the prehistoric Native Americans of Ohio.
Because the prehistoric Native Americans of Ohio were characterized by
relatively long legs and distal elements of the limbs, stature estimation from
regressions based on East Asian populations, which express in general relatively short legs and distal limb elements, will overestimate stature in Native
Americans of Ohio and, possibly, all Eastern Woodlands Native Americans.
0 1993 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
In a previous report we presented regression equations for the estimation of stature
in prehistoric Native Americans of Ohio
(Sciulli et al., 1990). The regression equations in that report were based on skeletal
height (Fully, 1956) as the dependent variable and lower limb bone and vertebral column lengths as the independent variables.
That approach allowed us to eliminate the
assumption that the prehistoric populations
included in our sample expressed the same
stature component proportions as in any living population(s). The use of skeletal height
also provided us with the best estimates of
stature for skeletonized individuals.
Comparisons of the best estimates of stature (from skeletal height) in our sample
with stature estimates from the regression
equations we calculated from the sample
showed that they were virtually identical.
0 1993 WILEY-LISS. INC
However, stature estimates based on regression equations from distinct but genetically
related East Asian populations consistently
overestimated stature in our prehistoric
sample.
The present report is an extension of our
previous work with a much larger sample
from a wider geographic area. The larger
sample allows us to evaluate our previous
conclusions concerning the apparent homogeneity of stature component proportions in
prehistoric Native Americans from the Ohio
area and allows us to include additional
measures from the upper limb bones for
stature estimation.
Received October 26,1992; accepted June 8,1993.
Address reprint requests to Paul W. Sciulli, Department of
Anthropology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.
396
P.W. SCIULLI AND M.J. GIESEN
MATERIALS AND METHODS
A total of 171 adult prehistoric Ohio Valley Native Americans comprise the present
sample, 76 females and 95 males. The sample includes the 64 individuals from our previous report plus 107 individuals primarily
from the Late Prehistoric period. The samples represent a time span of almost 3,000
years. The earliest samples date to the Late
Archaic period (ca. 3150 BP.) while the most
recent date to the Late Prehistoric-Protohistoric period (ca. 800-300 BP.). The distribution of females over time periods is as follows: Late Archaic, n = 15; Late Woodland,
n = 2; Late Prehistoric, n = 59. The distribution of males over time periods is as follows: Late Archaic, n = 20; Middle Woodland, n = 1; Late Woodland, n = 5; Late
Prehistoric, n = 69.
In addition to an increased sample size we
are also able to include individuals from a
wider geographical area in this report. The
64 individuals in our previous study were
taken from populations located primarily in
northwestern and north central Ohio. Most
of the 107 individuals added in this report
are from populations located in west central
Ohio (n = 381, southwest Ohio (n = 30),
southwest Pennsylvania (n = 181, and north
central West Virginia (n = 131, the remainder coming from northern Ohio.
We estimated the sex and age of each individual as well as skeletal height using the
same methods as in our previous study (Sciulli et al., 1990). With the present larger
sample we are able to include regression
equations using the lengths of the bones of
the upper extremity: maximum length of
humerus and radius and the length of the
ulna excluding the styloid process. Upper
and lower extremity measures are the average of the left and right side if both are available; otherwise, the single side available
represents the length of the element.
We were unable to measure the heights of
45 vertebrae in 32 individuals because the
vertebrae were either missing or damaged.
However, we did estimate the heights of
these vertebrae by averaging the heights of
vertebrae directly superior and inferior to
them (Sciulli et al., 1990). These vertebral
height estimates should be accurate because
the heights of individual vertebra, as a per-
centage of the total vertebral column height,
are almost identical not only among prehistoric Native Americans but among African
and European derived populations as well
(Sciulli et al., 1990; Sciulli, in press).
We used skeletal height as the dependent
variable and various elements and combinations of elements as independent variables
to develop regression equations for estimating stature (BMDPGD: Dixon, 1985). Inspection of scatterplots indicated strong linear
relationships and thus we did not use transformations. We also calculated major axis
equations (Sokal and Rohlf, 1981) for the
same combinations of skeletal height and
the element or combination of elements for
which we present regression equations. The
major axis equations are not presented here
as their estimates of stature are essentially
the same as those from the regression equations. However, the major axis equations are
available on request for those who, on philosophical grounds, prefer them to regression
equations in analyses of this kind.
RESULTS
Table 1 contains descriptive statistics for
each component of skeletal height and the
elements of the upper extremity, the percent
of total skeletal height of each component
and the elements of the upper extremity,
and the average skeletal height for males
and females in the Late Archaic, Late Prehistoric, and total sample. The Late Archaic
and Late Prehistoric samples are listed separately because there is a significant difference in skeletal height (and stature) between males of these periods (Sciulli, in
press), raising the possibility of differences
in the contribution to skeletal height by the
five components.
Examination of the percent of total skeletal height contributed by each component in
both sexes shows that while the absolute
magnitude of skeletal height may differ significantly between the Late Archaic and
Late Prehistoric male samples, the proportion contributed to skeletal height by each
component is virtually identical. We evaluated this observation by testing for the homogeneity of covariance matrices of the five
skeletal height components (cranium height
through foot height) in the Late Archaic and
Late Prehistoric males (Box, 1949). We are
STATURE ESTIMATION IN OHIO NATIVE AMERICANS
397
TABLE 1 , Descriptiue statistics for stature components and arm elements of the prehistoric Ohio Natiue
American sample
.-
Measure
Males
Cranium
Vertebral column
Femur
Tibia
Foot
Humerus
Radius
Ulna
Skeletal height
Females
Cranium
Vertebral column
Femur
Tibia
Foot
Humerus
Radius
Ulna
Skeletal height
N
Late Archaic
Z
S
-
N
69
69
69
69
69
66
55
50
69
14.3
50.7
45.2
37.8
6.1
32.6
25.5
27.2
154.1
0.52
2.32
2.11
1.87
0.37
1.61
58
58
58
58
58
51
46
42
58
13.7
48.4
42.4
35.0
5.6
30.6
23.5
25.1
145.1
0.48
2.24
1.60
1.50
0.32
1.26
1.03
1.02
4.74
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
19
20
14.5
51.0
46.8
39.8
6.0
33.9
26.6
28.3
158.3
0.31
3.33
2.22
1.85
0.42
1.19
0.97
0.94
6.23
9.2
32.2
29.6
25.2
3.8
21.4
16.8
17.9
15
15
13.8
47.5
43.8
36.0
5.4
31.6
24.3
26.4
146.5
0.48
2.84
2.09
1.52
0.37
1.84
1.58
1.28
5.93
9.4
32.4
29.9
24.6
3.7
21.5
16.4
17.9
15
15
15
12
12
10
15
Late Prehistoric
?
S
%
-
-
1.11
1.07
5.80
.
%
9.3
32.9
29.3
24.5
4.0
21.2
16.5
17.6
-
9.4
33.4
29.2
24.1
3.8
21.0
16.2
17.3
-
-~
N
95
95
95
95
95
92
Total sample2
Z
S
%
75
95
14.4
50.9
45.6
38.3
6.1
33.0
25.8
27.5
155.3
0.48
2.55
2.22
2.06
0.39
1.89
1.17
1.14
6.12
9.3
32.8
29.4
24.7
3.9
21.2
16.6
17.6
76
76
76
76
76
65
61
54
76
13.7
48.2
42.7
35.2
5.5
30.8
23.6
25.4
145.4
0.48
2.35
1.77
1.48
0.35
1.42
1.16
1.15
4.92
9.4
33.2
29.4
24.2
3.8
21.1
16.2
17.4
80
-
-
‘All measures In cm. The 92 column shows the average ratio of the measure to skeletal height. Bicondylar femur length, condyle-malleolus tibia
length, ulna length minus styloid process.
Homogeneity of Late Archaic and late Prehistoric Covariance matrices for stature coniponents (cranium through foot cannot be rejected for
m a l e s ( M = 18.5,0.5>P>.IO)orfemalesLM= 17.7,0.5>P>.l01).
unable to reject the hypothesis of homogene- combination with other elements yield the
ity of the covariance matrices in the samples best estimates of skeletal height, while the
(Table l),thus supporting the observations elements of the upper extremity alone or in
on the similarity of the individual propor- various combinations yield useful but less
tions. Females show no significant differ- accurate estimates.
ence in skeletal height between groupings
In preliminary trials we tested a number
and, as with the males, show essentially the of combinations of the elements of the upsame proportion contributed to skeletal per extremity as independent variables
height by each component. We also cannot to estimate skeletal height. However, all of
reject the homogeneity of covariance matri- the upper extremity combinations-for exces of the skeletal height components of the ample, (2 x humerus length) + (2 x radius
Late Archaic and Late Prehistoric females lengthkexcept humerus plus radius length
(Table 1).As the stature component propor- in males yielded poorer estimates than the
tions are identical in the male groupings and elements used singly. Thus the various comin the female groupings, we pooled all same binations of the upper extremity elements
sexed individuals into total samples for re- are not listed.
As we found in our previous study and as
gression analyses.
Table 2 contains the regression equations Tibbets (1981) notes, vertebral column
we developed for estimating skeletal height height is a very poor estimator of skeletal
in the present sample. As in our previous height. The only exception in the present
report we have also included the maximum study is the combination of vertebral column
length of the femur and tibia, as these are height with cranial height in females.
To use the formulae in Table 2 to estimate
commonly obtained measures. As we expected, because of the strong similarity in stature, insert the measure of the element or
bodily proportions over time and space in the sum of the measures of elements in the
Native Americans of the Ohio Valley area, appropriate formula. The result of the operthe regression equations in Table 2 are very ations indicated in the formula will yield
similar to the corresponding equations of skeletal height. Stature is obtained by addour previous study. Again, as is generally ing the soft tissue corrections listed at the
the case, the femur and tibia alone and in bottom of Table 2. If a living stature esti-
P W SCIULLI AND M J GIESEN
398
TABLE 2 Regression formulae for estimatlon of Ziulng stature for prehistoric Ohio Native Americans
~
Formula'
Elernent(s1
~~
Males
(BF + CMT + FO + LV) = LTLV
(BF + CMT LV) = LPLV
(XF + XT + LV) = LXLV
(BF + CMT + FO) = LT
(XF + X T ) = L X
(BF + CMT) = LP
+
RF
_.
XF
XT
CMT
(XH + X R ) = ARM
XH
XR
su
Females
LTLV
LPLV
LXLV
LT
LX
XT
XH
XR
STJ
~~
~ _ _ _ _ _ _SE
_ _ _ _ _N_
-
r
SKHT = 25 421 + 1 2 5 4 (LTLV)
SKHT = 29 012 + 1 296 (LPLV)
SKHT = 28 776 + 1283 (LXLV)
SKHT = 35 864 + 1 326 (LT)
SKHT = 39 630 + 1 360 (LX)
SKHT = 40 403 + 1369 (LP)
SKHT = 41 444 + 2 497 IBF)
SKHT = 42 805 + 2 443 (XF)
SKHT = 50 721 + 2 680 (XTI
SKHT = 54 529 + 2 629 (ST)
SKHT = 36 592 + 2 023 (ARM)
SKHT = 48.829 + 3.229 (XH)
SKHT = 53.972 + 3.943 (XR)
SKHT = 55.138 + 3.666 (SU)
156
159
1 62
2 25
2 31
2 32
2 61
2 66
2 74
2 85
3 22
3.42
3.92
4.19
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
80
92
80
75
0.967
0.966
0.965
0.931
0.927
0.926
0.905
0.902
0.896
0.886
0.848
0.833
0.764
0.709
SKHT = 22.581 + 1.269 (LTLV)
SKHT = 23.662 + 1.334 (LPLV)
SKHT = 22.126 + 1.332 (LXLV)
SKHT = 34.130 + 1.333 (LT)
SKHT = 34.189 + 1.404 (LX)
SKHT = 36.730 + 1.394 (LP)
SKHT = 44.253 + 2.336 (XF)
SKHT = 43.697 + 2.381 (BF)
SKHT = 50.764 + 2.686 (CMT)
SKHT = 47.824 + 1.576 (UPRI
SKHT = 49.527 + 2.668 (XT)
SKHT = 62.360 + 2.706 (XHI
SKHT = 73.945 + 3.033 (XR)
SKHT = 76.588 + 2.717 (SU)
1.62
1.69
1.72
2.26
2.37
2.38
2.54
2.56
2.91
2.98
3.04
3.07
3.61
3.72
76
76
76
76
76
0.945
0.940
0.938
0.890
0.878
0.877
0.859
0.856
0.809
0.800
0.790
0.785
0.702
0.647
76
76
76
76
76
76
65
61
54
'
BF = bicondylar femur l e n g t h CMT = condyle-malleolus tibia length; FO = foot height; LV = sum of heights of lumbar ventebrae;
= maximum tibia length, XH = maximum humerus l e n g t h XR = maximum radius length; SU = length of
ulna without styloid process; CRAN = cranial height; VERT = vertebral column height; SKHT = skeletal height. All measures in centimeters.
2Formulae yield skeletal heights. To obtain stature add 10 cm to skeletal heights o f 153.5 cm or less, 10.5cm to skeletal heights of153.6165.4 cm,
and 11.5 em to skeletal heights of 165.5 cm or greater. For living stature estimates subtract 0.06 em for each year over 30 years of age.
XF = maximum femur length; XT
mate is desired, subtract 0.06 cm for each
year over 30 years of age from the stature
estimate.
CONCLUSIONS
The results of the present analyses
strongly support our prior conclusion that
bodily proportions were conservative features in Native Americans of the Ohio Valley area. In our previous study we included
individuals from Late Archaic through Late
Prehistoric populations located primarily in
the northern sections of Ohio. In this study
we expanded both the geographical and temporal range of the sample by adding individuals from central and southern Ohio, southwestern Pennsylvania, and north central
West Virginia and by including individuals
from protohistoric populations. However,
with this expanded sample we find that the
percent contribution of each component of
skeletal height remains virtually identical
to that which we previously noted and is
constant among the present temporal groupings. Even the male groupings that differ in
total skeletal height do not differ in proportional contributions to skeletal height. Thus
the regression equations developed for the
total samples should be applicable, in general, to any geographical or temporal subset
of Ohio Valley area Native Americans with
similar proportional contributions to skeletal height.
The generally poor performance of regression equations based on living East Asian
populations for the estimation of stature in
Ohio Valley Native Americans, shown in our
previous report (Sciulli e t al., 1990), appears
to be due to the relatively long limbs, especially the distal elements, expressed by the
Ohio Valley Native Americans. It is well
known that the proportionally shortest legs
as well as the shortest distal elements of the
limbs can be found among living East Asian
populations and populations recently derived from them. However, as Table 1
STATURE ESTIMATION IN OHIO NATIVE AMERICANS
shows, Ohio Valley Native Americans are
characterized by relatively long legs and, as
has been shown previously (Sciulli et al.,
1991; Sciulli, in press), by relatively long distal elements of the limbs (for example, a brachial index of 77.8 and a crural index of
85.0).Thus, use of regressions based on East
Asian populations, or other populations of
similar proportions, to estimate stature in
Ohio Valley Native Americans will significantly overestimate stature (Sciulli et al.,
1990).Because many other prehistoric Eastern Woodlands populations show similar
relatively long distal limb elements (Sciulli
et a]., 1991), regression equations from living East Asian populations are probably inappropriate for stature estimation in these
populations also. Additional testing should
show whether the present equations or
those from living East Asian populations
provide better stature estimates for general
399
use among Eastern Woodlands Native
Americans.
LlTERATURE CITED
Box GEP (1949)A general distribution theory for a class
of likelihood criteria. Biometrika 36r317-346.
Dixon WJ (1985) BMDP Statistical Software. Berkeley:
University of California Press.
Fully G (1956) Une nouvelle methode de determination
de la taille. Ann Med. Legale Criminal. 35t266-273.
Sciulli PW (in press) Stature and proportions in the
Monongahela population of western Pennsylvania.
Ann Carnegie Mus.
Sciulli PW, Pacheco PJ, and Janini CA (1991) Variation
in limb bones of terminal Late Archaic populations of
Ohio. Midcontinental J Arch. 16:247-271.
Sciulli PW, Schneider KN, and Mahaney MC (1990)
Stature estimation in prehistoric Native Americans of
Ohio. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 83:275-280.
Sokal RR, and FJ Rohlf (1981)Biometry. San Francisco:
Freeman.
Tibbets GL (1981) Estimation of stature from the vertebral column in American Blacks. J. Forensic Sci.
26:715-723.
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