Odontometric sex estimation in humans using measurements on permanent canines. A comparison of an early Neolithic and an early medieval assemblage from Germany
Flohr, Stefan; Kierdorf, Uwe; Kierdorf, Horst
This study analyzed whether cervical canine dimensions measured at the enamel-cement junction can provide a basis for sex estimation in human skeletal remains and whether discriminant functions developed for one assemblage can be successfully applied also to others. Cervical canine dimensions were recorded for an Early Neolithic (Linear Pottery Culture) and an early medieval skeletal assemblage from Germany. Only individuals in whom sex estimation based on standard diagnostic criteria could be performed with a high degree of certainty were included. Sexual dimorphism in cervical canine dimensions was higher in the early medieval assemblage. Values in females of the Early Neolithic assemblage exceeded those of the early medieval assemblage, while there were no significant differences in males. Discriminant analysis led to a maximum correct classification of sex (cross validation results) of 94.0% in the early medieval and of 79.2% in the Early Neolithic assemblage. Applying the discriminant functions developed on one assemblage to the other led to poor classification results. Cervical canine dimensions are highly correlated with sexually dimorphic skeletal traits and may provide a good basis for sexing archaeological individuals. It is suggested that due to population differences in canine dimensions, either assem- blage specific discriminant functions should be developed or the applicability of existing formulae obtained on other assemblages to the assemblage under study should be carefully checked.