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ItemNot As-Seen-On-TV Forensic Anthropology: Anthropology in the Public Sector(American Anthropological Association, 2018-04-06)
ItemMind the Gap: Bridging Disability Studies and Bioarchaeology—An Introduction(Springer International Publishing, 2017)Bioarchaeology—the meticulous study of archaeologically derived human remains—provides us with an empirical dataset that can be used to explore how past variations in social organization affected human bodies.
ItemTechnical Note: Examining Interobserver Reliability of Metric and Morphoscopic Characteristics of the Mandible(Wiley, 2017)Mandibular metric and morphological characteristics have long been used for sex and ancestry estimation. Currently, there are no large-scale studies examining interobserver agreement, particularly examining the role of observer experience. This study examines the inter-observer agreement of six morphoscopic and eleven metric mandibular variables. Four observers with varied levels of experience scored 183 mandibles from the William M. Bass Donated Skeletal Collection. Absolute agreement and consistency were evaluated with the intraclass cor-relation coefficient (ICC). Additionally, technical error of measurement (TEM) and relative TEM (%TEM) were calculated for each metric vari- able. All analyses were conducted twice—once with all observers and again with only experienced observers. Results show mean morphoscopic agreement of 0.543 among all observers and 0.615 for experienced observers, and mean metric agreement of 0.886 among all observers and 0.911 for experienced observers. Further, no TEM exceeded 2 mm. All results were significant (p < 0.001).
ItemmtDNA and osteological analyses of an unknown historical cemetery from upstate New York(Springer Verlag, 2012)Thirteen burials located on Jackson Street in Youngstown, NY, USA were recovered from a construction site and excavated in 1997. Based on the artifact assemblage, it was suggested that the cemetery was used sometime between the late 1700s and 1840. No historical records existed, and initial assessment of the skeletal remains was not able to determine any cultural affiliation. We carried out osteological and genetic investigations in order to gain insight into ancestral affiliation and kinship of the unknown individuals from the burials. Due to poor preservation of the remains, dental traits and limited osteological observations were available for only a few individuals. We performed DNA extraction and sequenced the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region following standard ancient DNA procedures. Our results suggest that ten individuals have evidence of biological affiliation with Native Americans, and in particular, four individuals have maternal Native American ancestry. One male individual was determined to be of European ancestry, from both the mtDNA and osteological results. This burial may reflect admixture as a result of frequent contact between Native Americans and Europeans during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and attempts by missionaries to convert Native Americans to Christianity. Our study demonstrates the usefulness of a multifaceted approach through archaeological, osteological, and genetic analysis that provides valuable perspectives in understanding the individuals buried at the Jackson Street Burials.
ItemPractical Considerations in Trace Element Analysis of Bone Using Portable X-ray Fluorescence(Wiley, 2016-07)Forensic anthropologists are more often turning to nondestructive methods to assist with skeletal analyses, specifically for trace elemental analyses. Portable XRF (pXRF) instruments are versatile and are able to be used in diverse settings or for specimens of a shape and size that cannot be accommodated by laboratory-based instruments. Use of XRF requires knowledge of analysis parameters such as X-ray penetration and exit depth. Analysis depth was determined by examining pure elements through known thicknesses of equine bone slices. Correlation between the element's X-ray emission energy and the depth of reading was observed. Bone surfaces from a small unknown historic cemetery were analyzed before and after sanding of the periosteal surface to observe possible changes in XRF readings based on potential diagenesis. Results validate the pXRF device as a powerful and convenient instrument for nondestructive analysis, while highlighting limitations and considerations for the analysis of osseous materials.