A pilot study on assessment of racial affinity of Sri Lankan population using discriminant function statistics and a few established morphological racial traits.

Abstract

UNLABELLED Determination of racial affinity was not considered in investigations of unidentified bones in Sri Lanka until recently. Post-Tsunami exhumation of mass graves to identify Japanese and Europeans tourists highlighted the lack of anthropological data to separate them from Sri Lankans. OBJECTIVE The objective of this study is to determine the racial affinity of the Sri Lankan population using few well documented anatomical traits and Giles and Elliot's discriminant function analysis. METHODOLOGY Following measurements were obtained from 38 skulls. Basion-Prosthion length, Maximum length, Maximum breadth, Basion-Bregma height, Basion-Nasion height, Bizygomatic breadth, Prosthion-Nasion height and Nasal breadth. RESULTS Giles and Elliot (1963)'s discriminant functions developed to determine ancestry were used. In addition, few well-established morphological racial traits were also observed. Separate discriminant functions developed by Giles and Elliot to differentiate American white skulls from black skulls and white skulls from native Indian skulls were used. Five skulls had the measurements of blacks and another five had the measurements of Native Americans. The rest had measurements of American whites. 24 skulls had 'medium' (intermediate triangle) nasal openings. Nasal root contour was low to moderate in height (tented) in 22 skulls. Nasal spine was small in 31 skulls and nasal sill was blurred in 27 skulls. CONCLUSION Discriminant functions developed by Giles and Elliot identified the majority of skulls in this study as belong to Caucasians but only few skulls had obvious Caucasian morphological traits. However, there were few skulls showing clear Negroid and Mongoloid morphological features. Finally this study showed that the formulae developed by Giles and Elliot can be used to differentiate Sri Lankan skulls from those of American Indians and Blacks.

DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2009.01.109

Cite this paper

@article{Perera2009APS, title={A pilot study on assessment of racial affinity of Sri Lankan population using discriminant function statistics and a few established morphological racial traits.}, author={P. H. Perera and Arunasalam Pathmeswaran}, journal={Legal medicine}, year={2009}, volume={11 Suppl 1}, pages={S182-5} }