Essay Analysis : Skeleton Keys, By Jeffery Schwartz
A linear discriminant function is a set of measurements that is weighed against other measurements to gain the most accurate estimation of all the measurements combined within a particular taxon of skeletal remains. The weighing of each set of measurements is to provide the smallest amount of error in determination of sex, ancestry and stature of a particular individual. By applying the tested methods of discriminant function analysis to the specimen of UC71 and UC20/UC53-Cranium, the comparison of measurements provided an accurate estimation of sex, ancestry and stature.
On the topic of determining the accurate sex of a set of skeletal remains there are particular landmarks and features that appear on the post cranial and cranial regions of a skeleton that can provide some insight into the sex of the specimen. As outlined in Skeleton Keys, by Jeffery Schwartz, there are only a few skeletal features that seem to distinguish one sex from the other (Schwartz 2007). The subsequent tables provided in Skeleton Keys 9.3 to 9.7 provide those common areas that differences in sex are observed. It is careful to note at this point, there are stereotypes such as the features observed in the skull and mandible, where in the female observation would be of a more vertical frontal bone, higher, and more rounded orbits, and a more obtuse gonial (mandibular) angle than a male. Bias still remains prominent in the studies of skeletal metrics (Schwartz 2007). Many of these…