Sexual Dimorphism in Medieval Human Crania Studied by Three-Dimensional Thin-Plate Spline Analysis

  • Torbjörn Ahlström
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 284)


Sexual dimorphism with regard to size and nonuniform shape of the human skull was studied by means of a three-dimensional TPS analysis based on 42 landmarks of the skull. Significant differences with regard to both size and nonuniform shape could be substantiated. These results, although preliminary, suggests that the muscles of mastication and neck constrain the possible sexual shape variation encompassing anteroposterior as well as superoinferior dimensions of the skull, but not the lateral dimensions.


Sexual Dimorphism Principal Strain Centroid Size Human Skull Consensus Form 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bookstein, F. L. 1989a. “Size and shape”: A comment on semantics. Systematic Zoology 38: 173–180.Google Scholar
  2. Bookstein, F. L. 1989b. Principal warps: Thin-plate Splines and the decomposition of deformations. IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence. 11: 567–585.Google Scholar
  3. Bookstein, F. L. 1991. Morphometric tools for landmark data: Geometry and biology. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.Google Scholar
  4. Bräuer, G. 1988. Osteometrie. Pages 160–232 in R. Knussmann, (ed.), Anthropologie. Handbuch der vergleichenden biologie des menschen. Band I, Teil 1., Gustav Fischer Verlag: Stuttgart.Google Scholar
  5. Gejvall, N.-G. 1960. Westerhus. Medieval population and church in the light of skeletal remains. H2kan Ohlssons Boktryckeri: Lund.Google Scholar
  6. Howells, W. W. 1973. Cranial variation in man. A study by multivariate analysis of patterns of difference among recent human populations. Peabody Museum Papers. Harvard University.Google Scholar
  7. Krogman, W. M., and M. Y. Iscan. 1988. The human skeleton in forensic medicine. 2nd edition Charles C Thomas: Springfield, Illinois.Google Scholar
  8. Slice, D. E. 1993. GRF-ND: Generalized rotational fitting of N-dimensional data. Department of Ecology and Evolution, State University of New York, Stony Brook, New York 11794.Google Scholar
  9. Woo, T. I. 1937. A biometric study of the human malar bone. Biometrika 29: 113–123.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Torbjörn Ahlström
    • 1
  1. 1.Osteological Research LaboratoryStockholm UniversitySolnaSweden

Personalised recommendations