Prediction of cross-sectional geometry from metacarpal radiogrammetry: A validation study


  • Richard A. Lazenby

    Corresponding author
    1. Anthropology Program, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, British Columbia, Canada
    • Anthropology Program, University of Northern British Columbia, 3333 University Way, Prince George, BC, Canada V2N 4Z9
    Search for more papers by this author


Regression models have been developed to adjust algebraic estimates of second metacarpal cortical bone geometry to actual values (as determined through invasive analysis). These models, derived from an archaeological sample of European origin, have high efficacy in predicting actual values but have not been validated on non-European samples. This paper reports a validation study for these models applied to a historic/proto-historic sample of Inuit from the central Canadian Arctic (n = 166; ages and sexes pooled as per the original study). In that the Inuit sample has been argued to exhibit distinct skeletal biology, this represents a robust test of the predictive models. The algebraic models again produced biased overestimates of actual values, whereas the predictive regression models were found to provide good estimates of actual values for measures of bone strength (Total Area, bending about the Ix and Iy axes), but not for estimates of mass (Cortical Area). This difference may exist in either functional or systemic differences in skeletal physiology and aging bone loss in the Inuit. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 14:74–80, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.