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Geometric Morphometric Tools for the Classification of Human Skulls

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2010
59 pages
This project developed population-specific classification criteria and associated software to assist forensic scientists in the characterization of human skulls.
The project compiled a population database derived from three-dimensional landmark coordinate data of human cranial material that will aid in future victim identifications. It also developed a validated population-specific procedure for the classification of unknown individuals. In addition, it developed cross-platform software for the use in forensic applications of human identification. The project compiled a database (n=1,086) of craniofacial three-dimensional landmark coordinate data that will aid in future victim identification, and integrated this information into task-specific software for the assignment of membership probabilities in previously defined sex and ancestral groups to unknown remains. Three-dimensional coordinates of 75 craniofacial landmarks were collected from skeletal collections of European, African, and Hispanic populations. The research results have been and will continue to be reported at forensic conferences and in peer-reviewed literature. The core software, 3-D-ID, which was developed as part of this project will be made available to the forensic and research communities. The software provides a classification of an unknown specimen into a probable sex and ancestral affiliation with one or more likely populations, including allowances for fragmentary and damaged specimens. The software can be downloaded from the Web (http://www.3d-id.org/index.html). 14 figures, 7 tables, 51 references, and appended original craniofacial landmarks

Date Published: July 1, 2010