Document Type Doctoral Thesis Author Navsa, Nadia email@example.com URN etd-10092010-153424 Document Title Skeletal morphology of the human hand as applied in forensic anthropology Degree PhD Department Anatomy Supervisor
Advisor Name Title Prof M Y Iscan Co-Supervisor Prof M Steyn Supervisor Keywords
- metacarpals of the hand
- bones of the human hand
- morphology of the hand
Date 2010-09-02 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe lack of detailed descriptions makes positive identification of individual bones of the human hand difficult. In some instances, labelled photographs and line diagrams depicting a few anatomical features are available in the literature while in other cases, unlabelled photographs and diagrams are provided. Textbooks generally describe each hand bone as having a head, shaft and base. The morphology of metacarpals is more commonly described than that of the phalanges. Thus, identification and siding of hand bones are rare, which excludes them from use in many forensic cases. Forensic anthropological studies also include the determination of demographic characteristics such as stature and sex. Parts of the human skeleton that are accurate predictors in determining stature and sex include the skull, pelvis, femur and tibia. Hand bones are often excluded from such studies due to their relatively small size and poor preservation. The aims of this study were firstly, to provide detailed morphological descriptions of metacarpals and phalangeal bones of the human hand; secondly, to develop regression formulae for stature using the hand bones and thirdly, to develop discriminant function formulae in which the hand bones can be used to determine the sex of an unknown individual. The study comprised 200 sets of hands of South African individuals. The results indicate that there are morphological features of individual bones of the human hand that can be used to identify and side them. Regression formulae have been devised whereby the length of a hand bone can be regressed to that of a long bone, which in turn can then be used to determine stature. The sexing accuracy, using the bones of the hand, is high for males and females. Average accuracies recorded were more than 80% in most cases, and more than 75% in all cases. Analyses of human hand bones can thus add valuable information when assessing skeletons of unknown individuals.
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Please cite as follows:
Navsa, N 2010, Skeletal morphology of the human hand as applied in forensic anthropology, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10092010-153424 / >
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