Get access

Application of Fordisc 3.0 to Explore Differences Among Crania of North American and South African Blacks and Whites,


  • Funded by an NRF-CSUR grant South Africa: EN L'Abbé, SD Ousley and the NRF incentive funding for related researchers (South Africa).
  • Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the authors and therefore the NRF does not accept any liability in regard thereto.


Using discriminant function analysis, classification accuracies for ancestry and sex in white and black South Africans were compared using North American (FDB), African groups in Howells (HDB), and South African (SADB) databases in FORDISC 3.0. (FD3). Twenty-four standard linear measures were collected from a total of 86 black and 101 white crania obtained from the Pretoria Bone Collection. White and black South Africans classified 73% correctly in FDB, 55% correctly in HDB, and 71% correctly in SADB. The percentage of atypical cases was higher with FDB than SADB. In all three databases, misclassification occurred more with sex than ancestry revealing differences in sexual dimorphism between population groups. Broad ancestral differences may explain low misclassification rates for ancestry. FD3, with a modern South African reference sample, can assist South African anthropologists to standardize methodology and to justify procedures for estimating ancestry.