Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Anthropology

Committee Chair

Ashley McKeown

Commitee Members

Noriko Seguchi, Sergio Romero


allometry, catch-up growth, Central America, environment, forensic anthropology, genetics, high altitude hypoxia, nutrition, secular change, sexual dimorphism, South America


University of Montana


Human stature estimation is a central part of forensic anthropological investigation. It is one of several factors used to identify unknown individuals. The statistical relationship between body length and body segment length allows for long bone lengths from an unidentified individual to be used in a linear regression equation to estimate living stature. These linear regression equations are often formulated from a data set of an entirely different population. This research explores the necessity for the unknown individual to be similar on a number of points to the known population that makes up the equation. Populations are highly variable, and one or two equations should not be applicable for every population. The sample to be examined consists of 22 Hispanic males with known stature and long bone lengths, drawn from the Forensic Data Bank. This data was applied to some of the most commonly used equations today, including: Trotter and Gleser’s Korean War equations, Hispanic and American White equations from FORDISC, and Genoves’ Mesoamerican equations. Statistical analysis revealed the necessity for more data collection from Central and South American populations. If this were done, a greater number of unknown individuals could be identified and their remains returned to their families.



© Copyright 2007 Kelly Jean Shields