Population-specific stature estimation from long bones in the early medieval Pohansko (Czech Republic)

Vladimír Sládek, Jiří Macháček, Christopher B. Ruff, Eliška Schuplerová, Renáta Přichystalová, Martin Hora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objectives: We tested the effect of population-specific linear body proportions on stature estimation. Materials and Methods: We used a skeletal sample of 31 males and 20 females from the Early Medieval site at Pohansko (Břeclav, Central Europe) and a comparative Central European Early Medieval sample of 45 males and 28 females. We developed new population-specific equations for the Pohansko sample using anatomical reconstructions of stature, then compared percentage prediction errors (%PEs) of anatomical stature from limb bone lengths using the derived Pohansko equations with those previously derived from more general European and other Early Medieval samples. Results: Among general European equations, the lowest %PEs for the Pohansko sample were obtained using the equations of Formicola and Franceschi: Am J Phys Anthropol 100 (1996) 83-88 and Ruff et al.: Am J Phys Anthropol 148 (2012) 601-617. However, unexpectedly, the choice between tibial latitudinal variants proposed by Ruff et al.: Am J Phys Anthropol 148 (2012) 601-617 appeared to be sex-specific, with northern and southern variants producing lower %PEs for males and females, respectively. Equations from Breitinger: Anthropol Anz 14 (1937) 249-274, Bach: Anthropol Anz 29 (1965) 12-21, and Sjøvold: Hum Evol 5 (1990) 431-447 provided poor agreement with anatomical stature. When applied to the comparative Central European Early Medieval sample, our new formulae have generally lower %PE than previously derived formulae based on other European Early Medieval samples (Maijanen and Niskanen: Int J Osteoarchaeol 20 (2010) 472-480; Vercellotti et al.: Am J Phys Anthropol 140 (2009) 135-142. Conclusions: The best agreement with anatomical stature among our newly developed equations was obtained using femoral+tibial length, followed by femoral length. Upper limb bone lengths resulted in higher %PEs. Variation in the tibia is likely to contribute most to potential bias in stature estimation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-324
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican journal of physical anthropology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • bioarchaeology
  • body shape
  • body size
  • regression stature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Anthropology


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