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Title: Genetic sexing to determine the optimal discriminant functions for the analysis of archaeological remains from El Hierro (Canary Islands)
Authors: Ordóñez, Alejandra C.
Arnay-de-la-Rosa, M.
Fregel, R.
Trujillo-Mederos, A.
Pestano, J. 
González-Reimers, E.
UNESCO Clasification: 32 Ciencias médicas
320102 Genética clínica
550501 Arqueología
51 Antropología
Keywords: Sexing tibiae
Ancient bones
Genetic sexing
Discriminant functions osteometry, et al
Issue Date: 2013
Journal: Journal of Archaeological Science 
Abstract: A correct sex assignment of a given bone or bone fragment is of paramount importance for the archaeologist, anthropologist and in forensic medicine. Discriminant functions, combining several anthropometric measurements obtained from individuals with known sex are useful tools for this purpose, but it is essential to know exactly the sex from which the measures are obtained. This is an easy task in modern populations, but it is problematic in ancient ones, since even when the entire skeleton is available, diagnosis of sex is not 100% accurate. Sexing by genetic methods by amplifying the first intron of the amelogenin gene constitutes a much more accurate method for sexing bones and may be the gold standard for further elaboration of discriminant functions which may serve for sexing new bones dug up in future excavations. With this aim we have genetically sexed 52 (out of 59) tibiae belonging to the prehispanic population of El Hierro, in the Canary Islands, identifying 18 women and 34 men, and then, performed discriminant functions combining several anthropometric variables. These functions show a high accuracy in sex diagnosis (94.2%; area under ROC curve = 0.954 with the best of the functions), so that they allow correct sexing of tibiae or tibiae fragments (only proximal third, distal third or midshaft). Thus, genetic sexing obviates the problem of finding an accurate gold standard for the elaboration of discriminant functions for ancient bones. This method could be applied to other populations of different antiquity and different ethnicity.
ISSN: 0305-4403
DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2013.06.025
Source: Journal Of Archaeological Science[ISSN 0305-4403],v. 40 (12), p. 4411-4419
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