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Publication Detail
Estimating sex of juvenile skeletal remains using discriminant function analysis of dental cervical diameters
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Griffith MK
  • Date awarded:
  • Supervisors:
    Hilson S
  • Status:
  • Awarding institution:
    UCL (University College London)
  • Language:
  • Date Submitted:
  • Keywords:
    sex estimation, dental anthropology, archaeology, juvenile osteology
Osteological methods for estimating sex of juveniles have failed to be replicable across populations. Without this key component of the biological profile, subadults cannot be studied with the same amount of detail as their adult counterparts. Dentition, which is a sturdy, often well-preserved biological tissue, is sufficiently dimorphic to be used to estimate sex. Mesiodistal and buccolingual cervical diameters of 20 male and 20 female adults from a post-medieval assemblage from Chichester, Sussex, England were used as the baseline population for discriminant function analysis. The same measurements were performed on the permanent dentition of 52 juveniles and one adult of indeterminate sex. Buccolingual and mandibular measurements are more dimorphic than mesiodistal and maxillary measurements. There was a significant difference between the cervical diameters of males and females in 22 of 26 measurements (p < 0.05). The most dimorphic cervical measurements in the Chichester assemblage are mesiodistal lower canine, followed by the mesiodistal upper third premolar and buccolingual lower fourth premolar. More than 60% of juveniles were able to have their sex estimated using discriminant scores calculated from cervical diameters. Of those were a sex estimate was possible, 19 (59.4%) of individuals were identified as female or possible and 13 (40.6%) were identified as male or possible male. The large number of juveniles that were able to have their sex estimated from the Chichester assemblage indicates that cervical measurements are a viable method for estimating sex in an archaeological context. Further research should explore the applicability of this method on other archaeological assemblages.
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