Registry of Anthropological Data Wiki
  • Data Set Title: Database for Forensic Anthropology in the United States, 1962-1991
  • Primary Data Collector: Richard Jantz and Peer Moore-Jansen
  • Description: Project established a computerized skeletal database composed of recent forensic cases to represent the present ethnic diversity and demographic structure of the United States population. The intent was to accumulate a forensic skeletal sample large and diverse enough to reflect different socioeconomic groups of the general population from different geographical regions of the country in order to enable researchers to revise the standards being used for forensic skeletal identification. The database is composed of eight data files, comprising four categories. The primary "biographical" or "identification" files (Part 1, Demographic Data, and Part 2, Geographic and Death Data) comprise the first category of information and pertain to the positive identification of each of the 1,514 data records in the database. Information in Part 1 includes sex, ethnic group affiliation, birth date, age at death, height (living and cadaver), and weight (living and cadaver). Variables in Part 2 pertain to the nature of the remains, means and sources of identification, city and state/country born, occupation, date missing/last seen, date of discovery, date of death, time since death, cause of death, manner of death, deposit/exposure of body, area found, city, county, and state/country found, handedness, and blood type. The Medical History File (Part 3) represents the second category of information and contains data on the documented medical history of the individual. Variables in Part 3 include general comments on medical history as well as comments on congenital malformations, dental notes, bone lesions, perimortem trauma, and other comments. The third category consists of an inventory file (Part 4, Skeletal Inventory Data) in which data pertaining to the specific contents of the database are maintained. This includes the inventory of skeletal material by element and side (left and right), indicating the condition of the bone as either partial or complete. The variables in Part 4 provide a skeletal inventory of the cranium, mandible, dentition, and postcranium elements and identify the element as complete, fragmentary, or absent. If absent, four categories record why it is missing. The last part of the database is composed of three skeletal data files, covering quantitative observations of age-related changes in the skeleton (Part 5), cranial measurements (Part 6), and postcranial measurements (Part 7). Variables in Part 5 provide assessments of epiphyseal closure and cranial suture closure (left and right), rib end changes (left and right), Todd Pubic Symphysis, Suchey-Brooks Pubic Symphysis, McKern & Steward--Phases I, II, and III, Gilbert & McKern--Phases I, II, and III, auricular surface, and dorsal pubic pitting (all for left and right). Variables in Part 6 include cranial measurements (length, breadth, height) and mandibular measurements (height, thickness, diameter, breadth, length, and angle) of various skeletal elements. Part 7 provides postcranial measurements (length, diameter, breadth, circumference, and left and right, where appropriate) of the clavicle, scapula, humerus, radius, ulna, scarum, innominate, femur, tibia, fibula, and calcaneus. A small file of noted problems for a few cases is also included (Part 8).
  • Data and Document Types: PDF files, SAS, SPSS, ASCII files
  • Topics: forensic anthropology, osteology
  • Discipline: physical and biological anthropology
  • Region: North America
  • Country: U.S.
  • Language: English
  • Nature of Collection: database downloadable from Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
  • Finding Aid: URL for codebook: