Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)



First Advisor

Frank L’Engle Williams


The femur is the largest bone in the body, and it is one of the most common bones found at crime scenes and archaeological sites, which leads to the femoral head being used as a typical method of identifying the sex of individuals. In the GSU Bioarchaeology Teaching Laboratory, there are 20 femora; cause of death, age, and sex are unknown. This study focuses on measuring multiple femoral morphological structures, such as head, neck, lesser-greater trochanter, length, shaft, lateral-medial condyle, and intercondylar fossa. After collecting the measurements and morphology scores, SPSS is used to analyze the data. Prior to data collection, a measurement error study was conducted in which all of the measurements were collected on all individuals twice and these were compared using a t-test. The t-tests demonstrated that no significant difference existed between trials. The femoral head, which is utilized as a measure of sexual dimorphism, is highly and significantly correlated with neck height and trochanteric ridge. All three of these measurements are located proximally on the femur. A principal components analysis of all eight traits shows an imperfect separation of females and males, although a discriminant function analysis demonstrates no misclassification for sex attribution. A multiple linear regression with the head measurement as the dependent variable shows that femoral midshaft circumference has the highest beta weight, implying a unique relationship between sex membership and body mass. Overall, the results suggest that multiple traits are dimorphic in the femur, but those that are proximal show greater differentiation between the sexes.


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