Stature or height estimation is defined in anthropological terms as the estimation of living height from skeletal remains, which, in this context, refers specifically to the lower extremity. Anthropologists thus distinguish between living stature and skeletal stature. Living stature is that measured in the living person and may reflect reported stature. Skeletal stature applies to stature estimated from whole or part of a human skeleton. (Some texts use the term cadaver stature to indicate a height taken from a deceased but fully fleshed individual.)
The height or stature of any adult can be separated into the contributions of five body segments: head, thorax, pelvic region, leg, and foot. If the skeletal elements representing those parts of the body are present (i.e., skull, vertebrae, sacrum, femur, tibia, and calcaneus and talus), stature can be estimated by measuring each element and adding the measures to yield skeletal height, then correcting this estimate to account for missing soft tissue, which will then yield an estimate of stature (20,21,22). By using all the body segments that contribute to stature, the Fully method is generally believed to provide accurate estimates of stature. This method also has the advantages of not requiring information about sex and ancestry to obtain an estimate of stature (see Subheading 4.1.).
One drawback of the Fully method is the assumption that the correction for soft tissue thickness, which is derived from French males, is applicable to individuals from all populations.
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