The correlation between cranial and post-cranial skeletal elements for resolving and reconstruction of comingled skeletal remains in victim identification

Marais, Johan Christian (2019-04)

Thesis (MSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Upon discovery of comingled disarticulated skeletons, actual matching of different skeletal elements to a particular individual can be extremely difficult. Available literature regarding the matching of skeletal elements, show few studies correlating skull measurements with post-cranial elements, with the majority of cases determining correlations with stature. The aim of this study is to assess the degree of correlation between cranial and post-cranial skeletal elements, of the three dominant South African population groups, by means of direct correlations of measurements. Skeletons of individuals (N=296) of both males (n=148) and females (n=148) of South African black (n=100), South African white (n=97) and South African coloured (n=99) population groups, were assessed in three distinct manners. Firstly, three correlation sets were recorded: 21 cephalometric elements were correlated with eight long-bone measurements, and six occipital condyle measurements with morphologically mirrored measurements on the superior articular facet of the first cervical vertebra were correlated. The last of the correlation sets consisted of the lengths and breadths of the neural foramina from foramen magnum up to C2. Secondly, Principal Component Analyses were conducted on the 21 cephalometric elements, the eight long-bones measurements, the 12 articular facet measurements, and the six neural canal measurements. Lastly, t-tests were conducted to determine if any of the measurements were sexually different. From these assessments, a connection between some of the cephalometric elements and the long bones were observed. Most notably, the novel construct known as representative facial height (NLH.MRH), which is the summation of the nasal height and the maximum ramus height of the mandible for all three population groups. The South African white males, however, showed a much weaker connection with NLH.MRH, though, the basion-bregma height correlated well with the long bones. It was determined that the length measurements outperformed the breadth measurements in terms of correlative strength for the three population groups, in the atlanto-occipital joint. A direct relationship was established within the neural canal from foramen magnum up until C2 for all three population groups. A clear platform is created for future research into constructing regression formulae for matching skulls with long bones. The articular facet and neural canal results can be used in a combined assessment for matching a skull with a body that has an intact cervical spine, by developing a regression model from a grouping of both measurement sets. These regression models may then be implemented in the sorting of comingled remains in situations such as mass graves and mass disasters.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Met die ontdekking van gemengde gedisartikuleerde skelette, kan die werklike ooreensteming van verskillende skeletelemente met 'n spesifieke individu uiters moeilik wees. Die beskikbare literatuur, aangaande die ooreensteming van skeletelemente, toon dat weinige studies, met betrekking tot korrelasies van post-kraniale elemente en skedelmates, beskikbaar is, waar die meeste gevalle wat korrelasies met statuur bepaal is. Die doel van hierdie studie was om die mate van korrelasie tussen kraniale en post-kraniale skeletelemente van die drie dominante Suid-Afrikaanse bevolkingsgroepe te bepaal, deur middel van direkte korrelasies van metings. Skelette van individue (N=296) van beide mans (n=148) en vrouens (n=148) van Suid-Afrikaanse swart (n=100), Suid-Afrikaanse blank (n=97) en Suid-Afrikaanse kleurling (n=99) bevolkingsgroepe, is op drie verskillende maniere beoordeel. Eerstens is drie korrelasiestelle aangeteken: 21 kefalometriese elemente is gekorreleer met agt langbeenmetings, en ses oksipitale kondiele metings met morfologies geweerspieëlde metings, van die superieure artikulêre faset van die eerste servikale werwel, is gekorreleer. Die laaste van die korrelasiestelle het bestaan uit die lengtes en breedtes van die neurale foramina van foramen magnum tot die tweede servikale werwels (C2). Tweedens is hoofkomponentanalises uitgevoer op die 21 kefalometriese elemente, die agt langbene metings, die 12 artikulêre fasetmetings en die ses neurale kanaalmetings. Laastens is t-toetse uitgevoer om vas te stel of enige van die metings verskil tussen die geslagte. Uit hierdie assesserings is 'n verband tussen sommige van die kefalometriese elemente en die langbene waargeneem. Opmerklik, die nuut geskepde metode bekend as die gesigshoogte verteenwoordiger (NLH.MRH), wat die som van die neushoogte en die maksimum ramushoogte van die mandibel is. Die Suid-Afrikaanse blanke mans het egter 'n baie swakker assosiasie met NLH.MRH getoon, alhoewel die basion-bregma-hoogte goed met die langbene gekorreleer het. Met betrekking tot die atlanto-oksipitale gewrig is waargeneem dat die lengtemetings beter as die breedtemetings was in terme van korrelatiewe sterkte vir al drie populasies. 'n Direkte verhouding is binne die neurale kanaal van foramen magnum tot C2 vir al drie populasies bevind. 'n Duidelike platform is geskep vir toekomstige navorsing, sowel as die opstel van regressieformules vir die passing van skedels met langbene. Die artikulêre faset- en neurale kanaal resultate kan gebruik word in 'n gekombineerde assessering vir die passing van 'n skedel met 'n liggaam wat 'n ongeskonde servikale ruggraat het, deur 'n regressiemodel te ontwikkel wat van beide stelle resultate gebruik maak. Hierdie regressie modelle kan dan geïmplementeer word in die sorteer van gemengde skelette in situasies soos massagrafte en massa-rampe.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/105844
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