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Forensic Anthropology is a special sub-field of physical anthropology (the study of human remains), Anthropologist’s use the application of techniques and principles to identify the deceased (Smithsonian, n.d.). This study applies statistical methods to study the bones of the deceased to determine the height of an individual, age, and gender (Forensic Anthropology, 2019). Dr, Sara C Bisel (1932-1996) internationally recognized in the field of ancient health and nutrition for establishing scientific and mathematical analysis of the victims in the 79 CE Mount Vesuvius eruption (Forensic Science Schools, 2009).

Thomas Dwight (1843-1911) is considered the Father of Forensic Anthropology, who was the first to give lectures on human skeletal identification to determine the height of the deceased. This report provides results based on the investigation into the mathematical techniques used by Forensic anthropologists, with an emphasis on the height of students compared to multiple long bones for example radius, femur, tibia, and humorous. A sample group of 200 students was selected for the investigation.

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Observations and Assumptions

Before using the data provided in the study, the following observation and assumptions were made.

  • Given the small variation in data, I have assumed that there is no variation of height and femur measurements due to genetic defects, injuries, or other such things that may affect the height of a person or bone size.
  • I have assumed that all students were measured accurately without shoes or any object to increase or decrease the height of the individual.
  • I have assumed that all students are male, as to compare with mathematical techniques used by Forensic Anthropologist to determine the height of an individual
  • I have assumed that all measurements which have been taken of the students are to the closest cm.

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  • I have observed the recording of measurements to make sure they were measured accurately.


For this investigation, a group of 200 students was randomly selected. Teachers measured the height of the student and the size of long bones. In order to investigate a relationship between the height of students and the length of a long bone, all data was used in the investigation. 200 students are a reasonable amount to determine the accuracy in which Anthropologists can determine height within the deceased. Due to the amount of data of the 200 students, it is satisfactory in informing this investigation and would not be sufficient if a reduction was made. The decisions to use all 200 students allowed for the accuracy of the results to be more accurate, as more data is used.

The variables selected for this investigation are students height ( x ) in centimeters and Femur bone ( y ) in centimeters


Within this investigation of the relationship between the height of students and the femur long bone, the following methodology was created.

The Collection of Data

For this investigation, students’ heights and the femur bone were measured using appropriate equipment to the nearest cm. For privacy reasons students’ measurements were de-identified and data was plotted into a spreadsheet program.

The creation of a scatterplot

A scatterplot was created using data from the student’s height as the explanatory variable, and the length of femur on the response variable. This allowed for the association to be observed within the data.

Person correlation

Pearson’s correlation was calculated to measure the statistical relationship between the explanatory variable and the response variable.

The coefficient of determination

The coefficient of determination was calculated to determine the total variation between the explanatory variable and the response variable.

The Regression Equation

Using standard deviation and Pearson’s correlation coefficient the regression equation can be applied, this can allow for a relationship between the two variables to be observed and applied.

Regression Line

By use of a spreadsheet program a trendline can be created within a scatterplot to display the linear equation and coefficient of determination.


Residuals were calculated to determine outlier within the data, including if a linear model can be applied in the investigation.

Residual Plot

The residual values were plotted to compare the relationship between the student’s height and femur bone length to observe patterns.


The results from this investigation are to be evaluated and adjusted to assumptions to allow conclusions to form based on the data.

Cite this page

Forensic Anthropology in Perspective. (2020, Nov 20). Retrieved from

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