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The Macromorphoscopic Databank

NCJ Number
American Journal of Physical Anthropology Volume: 166 Issue: 4 Dated: 2018 Pages: 994-1004
Date Published
11 pages

This projects objective is to fill the knowledge gap regarding issues and potential solutions in analyzing the data in the Macromorphoscopic Databank (MaMD), which makes publicly available trait scores for a large sample (n=2,363) of modern American populations and worldwide groups of various geographic origins (n=1,790), and it also stores reference data for a large sample (n=3,244) of pre-, proto-, and historic Amerindian data useful for biodistance studies and finer levels of analysis during NACPRA-related investigations and repatriations.


The development of identification standards in forensic anthropology requires large and appropriate reference samples comprising individuals with modern birth years. Recent advances in macromorphoscopic trait data collection and analysis have created a need for reference data for classification models and biological distance analyses. The Macromorphoscopic Databank (N equals 7,397) serves that function. In developing this database, attention was given to the level of classification needed during the estimation of ancestry in a forensic context. Developing valuable tools that are useful to other practitioners is the purpose of growing a databank. As the Macromorphoscopic Databank develops through data collection efforts and contributions from the field, its utility as a research and teaching tool will also mature, in turn creating a vital resource for forensic anthropologists for future generations. (publisher abstract)

Date Published: January 1, 2018