Old Bones and New technologies in Virtual Anthropology: The reliability of sex estimation methods in virtual environments, and application in archaeology

ContributorsHoxha, Fatbardha
Number of pages65
Defense date2023-02-15

In the last decade, Virtual Anthropology has become an important part of physical anthropology in general, and forensic anthropology in particular. There are many advantages to using accurate 3D models. There are however still questions which need to be addressed on whether 3D models can be analysed in an accurate and reliable manner using traditional anthropological methods. In this study, the aim was to investigate whether the Diagnose Sexuelle Probabiliste (DSP) and the Ischio-Pubic Index (IPI), two methods for sex estimation using morphometric data, are applicable to virtual environments. The hypothesis was that the methods adapt to other disciplines so this projects also puts to test the use of these methods within real archeological settings. Thirty individuals from the Simon Identified Skeletal Collection were selected for the research. The sex estimation methods were performed on the pelvises across three different environments: 1) On the dry bone (macroscopic), 2) 3D models of Multidetector Computed Tomography (MDCT) scans and 3) 3D surface scans (3DSS). Intra and inter observer analysis were performed (SPSS) both on raw data and after the sex estimation, and also the error ranges of measurements between environments were calculated. Additionally, three mummies currently stored at the Egyptian Museum in Torino were analysed. The results from the SIMON Identified Skeletal Collection show that the DSP performs well in both virtual environments, while the IPI proves to be difficult to apply. The analyses show that it is difficult to accurately locate the anatomical landmarks for the IPI measurements in both virtual environments, and sometimes even macroscopically. In conclusion, the DSP seems to adequately transfer to virtual environments. The IPI, however, would require an assessment of landmark visibility, which may be a problem of the methodology itself. The application of the DSP on the virtual images of the analysed mummies showed that it needs further investigation cause of several difficulties and limitations. Two out of three individuals could be correctly sexed by the method.

  • Archéologie
  • Préhistoire
  • Anthropologie
  • Bioanthropologie
  • Anthropologie virtuelle
  • Collection Simon
  • Diagnose sexuelle
  • Egypte
  • Momies
  • Musée
Citation (ISO format)
HOXHA, Fatbardha. Old Bones and New technologies in Virtual Anthropology: The reliability of sex estimation methods in virtual environments, and application in archaeology. 2023.
Main files (1)
Master thesis
  • PID : unige:169781

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