Stature Estimates of the Classic Period Maya from Chac Balam and San Juan, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Date of Award
Sociology and Anthropology
This thesis presents updated sex and stature estimates for ancient Maya females and males who lived in San Juan and Chac Balam in northern Ambergris Caye from approximately AD 700-900.
The regression formulae used in this study reflect a closer population affinity to the Maya compared to the equations used in the original analysis by Glassman (1995). Del Angel and Cisneros’ (2004) formulae were used when estimating stature based on a complete long bone. In Steele and Bramblett (1988), Steele and McKern (1969) and Steele (1970) regression formulae were used when estimating stature based on an incomplete humerus, femur, or tibia. Population specific stature formulae (del Angel and Cisneros 2004) were compared to nonspecific stature population formulae (Trotter 1970; Steele and Bramblett 1988). Bass (1995) cited Stewart (1979) for sex estimates based on the maximum diameter of the humeral and femoral heads; Frutos (2005) and Miller Wolf (personal communication) also provided metrics for the maximum humeral head diameter.
The results from this study show statistically significant shorter stature for these individuals than initially estimated by Glassman (1995), but similar sex estimations. These updated analyses can provide further insight into the daily lives and overall health of the ancient Maya from Ambergris Caye.
Conclusions drawn from this research include how different, population specific, regression formulae create a significant difference in the stature estimation for individuals from San Juan and Chac Balam during the Classic Period. Also, it is possible for stature to be estimated using regression analyses for fragmented long bones, although it is not always as accurate as using a complete bone measurement. Population specific metrics for the humeral and femoral heads can alter the results of sex estimation as well. Accurate stature formulae are an important foundation for estimating stature and understanding the health of modern and past populations.
Clark, Natalie, "Stature Estimates of the Classic Period Maya from Chac Balam and San Juan, Ambergris Caye, Belize" (2022). Honors Theses. 2480.
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