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Keywords:

  • Craniology;
  • Discrete traits;
  • Multivariate analysis;
  • Sex differences;
  • Race differences

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to question the utility of non-metric traits as predictors of age, race, and sex by comparing a group of non-metric variables with a group of metric variables. Twelve metric variables and 15 nonmetric variables were scored on 317 crania from the Terry Collection at the U. S. National Museum, and later statistically evaluated with a number of multivariate analysis programs and a stepwise discriminant program. The metric variables were found to be significant sex and race discriminators, where-as the non-metric variables were non-significant. The non-metric variables were found to be better age discriminators than the metric variables, even though neither could be classified as highly significant. It was concluded that non-metric traits by themselves have very little discriminatory value and should be used instead to supplement other osteological measurements and observations.