Forensic anthropologists tasked with identification of skeletal remains often have to set up new strategies to overcome the limitations of conventional individualizing markers. A sound acquaintance with non-metric traits is essential for a reliable distinction between normal variations and pathological or traumatic conditions, yet the role of cranial variants in the iden- tification process is still somehow ill-defined. One hundred crania (50 males and 50 females) of known sex and age were selected from the Collezione Antropologica LABANOF (a documented contemporary skeletal collection) and non-metric traits were scored as present or absent and by side. The frequencies of 13 traits were used to calculate the compound prob- abilities to find an individual with an exact combination of cranial features in the worldwide population. The probabilities of the majority of the individuals (53%) are within the 1 out of 10 million–1 out of 1 million interval. However, a fair number of subjects (25%) of the sample have the probabilities falling into the 1 out of 1 billion–1 out of 100 million interval, while the probabilities of a small portion of the sample (10%) are less than 1 out of 1 billion. This pilot study illustrates that some combinations of cranial variants are quite rare and may represent potential evidence to discern presumptive identifications, when an appropriate set of traits is selected and antemortem data are available for comparison. However, further research on larger and various samples is needed to confirm or discard the use of combinations of cranial non-metric traits as indi- vidualizing markers.

Exploring the potential of cranial non-metric traits as a tool for personal identification: the never-ending dilemma / A. Palamenghi, A. Borlando, D. De Angelis, C. Sforza, C. Cattaneo, D.M. Gibelli. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LEGAL MEDICINE. - ISSN 0937-9827. - 165:6(2021 Nov), pp. 2509-2518. [10.1007/s00414-021-02654-4]

Exploring the potential of cranial non-metric traits as a tool for personal identification: the never-ending dilemma

Andrea Palamenghi;Danilo De Angelis;Chiarella Sforza;Cristina Cattaneo;Daniele Gibelli
2021-11

Abstract

Forensic anthropologists tasked with identification of skeletal remains often have to set up new strategies to overcome the limitations of conventional individualizing markers. A sound acquaintance with non-metric traits is essential for a reliable distinction between normal variations and pathological or traumatic conditions, yet the role of cranial variants in the iden- tification process is still somehow ill-defined. One hundred crania (50 males and 50 females) of known sex and age were selected from the Collezione Antropologica LABANOF (a documented contemporary skeletal collection) and non-metric traits were scored as present or absent and by side. The frequencies of 13 traits were used to calculate the compound prob- abilities to find an individual with an exact combination of cranial features in the worldwide population. The probabilities of the majority of the individuals (53%) are within the 1 out of 10 million–1 out of 1 million interval. However, a fair number of subjects (25%) of the sample have the probabilities falling into the 1 out of 1 billion–1 out of 100 million interval, while the probabilities of a small portion of the sample (10%) are less than 1 out of 1 billion. This pilot study illustrates that some combinations of cranial variants are quite rare and may represent potential evidence to discern presumptive identifications, when an appropriate set of traits is selected and antemortem data are available for comparison. However, further research on larger and various samples is needed to confirm or discard the use of combinations of cranial non-metric traits as indi- vidualizing markers.
anatomical variants; cranium; frequencies; personal identification; unknown skeletal remains;
Settore BIO/08 - Antropologia
Settore MED/43 - Medicina Legale
17-lug-2021
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LEGAL MEDICINE
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/858621
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