Osteometric Assessment of Bones of Ghanaian Males

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Osteometric assessment of human skeletal remains for sex, age and stature estimation has been an important activity of forensic anthropologist and other skeletal biologists. The need for establishment of population-specific standards using osteometric methods has been emphasized due to intra-population and inter-population sexual dimorphism. While some populations have made several strides to standardize their samples, very little attempt has been made using Ghanaian samples. This study was carried out primarily to develop baseline data for sampled Ghanaian male skeletal remains, and also compare them with other samples for regional variation. A total of 300 different paired postcranial bones- femora, humeri, tibiae, radii, ulnae, fibulae, os coxae and articulated pelves housed at the Department of Anatomy, School of Medical Sciences (SMS), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) were measured for various osteometric indices using a sliding caliper, measuring tape, a pair of dividers and a flat wooden board. The Ghanaian male femoral length was significantly higher (p<0.05) than that of Thais, Chinese, Indians and Hong Kong Chinese. Humeral epicondylar breadth was also significantly different from Thais, Hong Kong Chinese, South African Whites and South African Blacks. However, the Ghanaian sample was similar (p>0.05) to Thai, Hong Kong and South African black males and females in innomate height and iliac breadth. Based on the studied sample, the ulna was dissimilar from the comparative sample populations in all its measured variables. The findings of this study further suggest that regional osteometric variation exists. Osteometric isolation of skeletal remains of Ghanaian males would be best achieved by combination several variables of a particular bone or by femoral, radial and ulna lengths as well as tibial proximal breadth, humeral epicondylar breadth and acetabular diameter.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Theoretical And Applied Biology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy,