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Discriminant function sexing of fragmentary and complete femora from medieval sites in continental Croatia

Discriminant function sexing of fragmentary and complete femora from medieval sites in continental Croatia

Šlaus, M.

Opvscvla Archaeologica Papers of the Department of Archaeology, Vol.21 No.1 December 1997.

Abstract

Discriminant function analysis for seks assessment was applied to 160 femora from four medieval archaeological site sin continental Croatia. The measurements included femoral lenght, epicondular breadth, diameter of the femoral head and two subtrochanteric and two midshaft dimensions. Using all seven variables the procedure correctly assigned seks for 93,75% of the sample. This compares favorably with results achieved with other skeletal parts; it also compares favorably with results using the femur in sexing other population groups. Discriminant function analysis with only one variable, useful for sexing fragmentary remains, also produced good results. Maximum diameter of the femoral head was the best seks discriminator with an accuracy of 91%. Epicondylar breadth with and accuracy of 87,5% and maximum length of the femur with an accuracy of 85% are also useful for determining seks in poorly preserved remains. The discriminant function shows both size and shape elements. Prominent among the forme ris joint size – epicondylar breadth and diameter of the femur head. The shape element includes midshaft and subtrochanteric form. The discriminant function was tested on indepedent medieval and Late Antique samples from continental Croatia and Dalmatia. Both the multivariate and univariate discriminant functions were very successful with an accuracy of from 87% to 95%. Further tests on other Croatian populations are, however, necessary to validate these results and to determine the breadth of applicability of the discriminant functions.

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