Accuracies of facial soft tissue depth means for estimating ground truth skin surfaces in forensic craniofacial identification
- Carl N. Stephan
- International Journal of Legal Medicine
The production of a three-dimensional plastic face on an unknown human skull has been practiced sporadically since the latter part of the last century. In recent years, the technique has been revived and applied to forensic science cases. The morphometric method of forensic facial reconstruction rests heavily on the use of facial soft tissue depth measurements. Moreover, it has been established that measurements made on the living are of more value than those made on the dead. In view of the well-known genetic complexities of the Egyptians, and the lack of knowledge of average facial soft tissue depths of the Egyptians that makes facial reconstruction questionable, it was decided to set up a table of norms for facial tissue thicknesses in 204 adult Egyptians aged 20-35 years. Tissue depths at 17 established landmarks (according to Aulsebrook et al. [Forensic Sci. Int. 79 (1996) 83]) were obtained using ultrasonic probing. The study revealed a unique spectrum of measurements for the Egyptians that might be useful for facial reconstruction purposes with obvious sexual dimorphism in facial soft tissue thickness. Additionally, the study provided evidence for the presence of interpopulation differences in average facial soft tissue thicknesses as evidenced from the comparison of the present data of Egyptians with those previously reported for some other populations.