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Modeling Surface Morphology of the Pubic Symphysis

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2019
142 pages
This report presents the findings and methodology of a research project that designed a semi-automated framework for estimating age-at-death without the subjectivity associated with traditional morphoscopic assessment.

The shape-based metrics produced by the developed techniques show significant linear associations with chronological age, producing moderate to highly positive correlation coefficients. The regression equations developed provide consistent estimates within useful age intervals and enable the quantification of method error. The three shape scores can be used to reveal trends in morphological variation associated with life-history factors, asymmetry in bilateral indicators, and different populations of origin. The project's published papers use these scores as the foundation for recommendations on best practices related to computational age-at-death estimation, using three-dimensional shape data and also the choice of sides (left or right or both) for feature assessment. The project's extension work on other skeletal indicators provided promising results, indicating that current data-collection protocols and computations for the three published shape scores can be translated to the auricular surface with minimal refinement required. The methodology description addresses the data collection protocol and age-at-death estimation methods. Future work based on the foundation of the project's current results is discussed. 10 figures and 79 references

Date Published: August 1, 2019