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Thread: Terms used in Physical Anthropology

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    Lightbulb Terms used in Physical Anthropology

    Physical-Anthropological Terms

    A

    ALVEON

    See prosthion.

    ANTERIOR (ventral)

    The front side of the body.

    ANTERIOR HEAD HEIGHT (v-n)

    Measured in the midline using a double sliding caliper and a level.

    ANTHROPOMETRY

    The measurement of the bodily characters of human beings.

    AURICULAR

    Pertaining to the ear or ear hole.

    AURICULAR HEAD HEIGHT (v-po)

    Measured on the right and left sides of the head using a double sliding caliper and a level.

    B

    BASION

    An anatomical point on the midpoint of the posterior border of the foramen magnum.

    BASION-BREGMA HEIGHT

    The height of the cranial vault from basion to bregma.

    BIGONIAL DIAMETER

    The maximum distance between the external gonial angles of the mandible, taken both on the dry mandible and on the living.

    BIOCULAR WIDTH (ex-ex)

    Measured by sliding caliper: covering tips of caliper as in en-en, place fixed tip of caliper above subject's right exocanthion, slide movable tip to position above subject's left exocanthion; use fingers to steady the instrument above the subject's face.

    BIOMETRIC

    Pertaining to the accurate measurement of living beings.

    BIZYGOMATIC DIAMETER

    See maximum facial breadth.

    BRACHYCEPHALIC

    Possessing a cephalic index of 81.0 to 85.4; round- or short-headed.

    BREADTH-HEIGHT INDEX

    (head height * 100) / head breadth

    On the living the height measurement is the auricular height; on the skull the basion-bregma height is usually employed.


    C

    CALVARIUM

    The brain case.

    CEPHALIC INDEX (C.I.)

    (head breadth * 100) / head length

    The most commonly used index of the human body in racial studies.

    CEPHALIC MODULE

    (head length + head breadth + auricular height) / 3

    The average of the three principal diameters of the cranial vault on the living; thus a measure of absolute head size.

    CHAMAECONCH

    Possessing an orbital index of 82.9 and under; low-orbitted.

    CHAMAERRHINE

    Possessing a nasal index of 51.0 and over on the skull; relatively wide-nosed.

    CORONAL PLANE (frontal plane)

    Divides the body into front and rear sections.

    CRANIAL (superior)

    Above or near the head.

    CRANIAL BASE WIDTH (t-t)

    Measured by sliding caliper: the tragi are soft tissue landmarks; tips of caliper should gently touch the superior margins of tragi.

    CRANIAL INDEX

    (cranial lenght * 100) / cranial breadth

    CRANIUM

    The face and the calvarium.


    D


    DISTAL

    The end farthest from the trunk or head.

    DOLICHOCEPHALIC

    Possessing a cephalic index of 75.9 and under; long- or narrow-headed, or both.

    DOLICHOCHRANIAL

    Possessing a cranial index of 74.9 and under; long- or narrow-skulled, or both.

    DORSAL (posterior)

    The back side of the body.

    E


    ENDOCANTHION (en)

    The inner corner of the eye fissure where the eyelids meet.

    EPICANTHIC FOLD (epicanthus; mongolid fold)

    Eyefold common among the Mongolid races, often creating a false impression of slanted eyes; a) illustration of epicanthic fold, b) Japanese woman with epicanthus:


    ETHMOID BONE

    Seivelike spongy bone located in the anterior part of the floor of the cranium between the orbits; the ethmoid is the principal supporting structure of the nasal cavity.

    EURYENE

    Possessing an upper facial index of 49.9 and under on the skull; short or broad upper-faced, or both.

    EURION (eu)

    The most lateral point on the head (identified in opposition).

    EURYPROSOPIC

    Possessing (on the living) a facial index of 83.9 and under; short- or broad-faced, or both.

    EXOCANTHION (ex)

    The outer corner of the eye fissure where the eyelids meet.

    EYE-EAR PLANE

    A conventional or standard level at which the skull is placed for craniometric study, with the lower border of the left orbit on the same horizontal plane as the upper borders of the two ear holes.


    F

    FACIAL INDEX (F.I.)

    (total face height * 100) / bizygomatic


    FORAMEN MAGNUM

    The main opening at the base of the skull through which the brain is connected to the major nerves of the body.

    FRONTAL BONE

    Forms the forehead, the roofs of the orbits, and most of the anterior part of the cranial floor.

    FRONTAL BOSSES

    Paired tuberosities or eminences on the forehead.

    FRONTAL PLANE (coronal plane)

    Divides the body into front and rear sections.

    FRONTOTEMPORALE (ft)

    The most medial point on the temporal crest, identified by palpation.

    FRONTOZYGOMATICUS (fz)

    The most lateral point on the frontozygomatic suture.

    FRONTOZYGOMATICUS-GLABELLA-FRONTOZYGOMATICUS (fz-g-fz)

    Measured on the surface above the orbits using a measuring tape: place the tape at the origin of the right frontozygomaticus, guiding the tape over glabella to the left frontozygomaticus.


    G

    GLABELLA (g)

    The most prominent point in the median sagittal plane between the supraorbital ridges.

    GLABELLO-OCCIPITAL LENGTH

    See maximum cranial lentgh.

    GNATHION (menton) (gn)

    The lowest central point of the symphysis of the mandible, beneath the bony chin.

    GONIAL ANGLES

    The outer posterior angles or corners of the lower jaw, at the bases of the ascending rami.


    H


    HEAD CIRCUMFERENCE

    Measured by encircling tape around the head, covering glabella and opisthocranion.

    HORIZONTAL PLANE (transverse plane)

    Divides the body into a superior (or upper) and an inferior (or lower) section.

    HYPERBRACHYCEPHALIC

    Possessing a cephalic index of 85.6 and over; extremely round- or short-headed.

    HYPERDOLICHOCEPHALIC

    Possessing an extremely low cephalic index; extremely long- or narrow-headed, or both.

    HYPEREURYENE

    Possessing an upper facial index of 44.9 and under on the skull; extremely long- or narrow upper-faced, or both.

    HYPERLEPTOPROSOPIC

    Possessing (on the living) a facial index of 93.0 or over; extremely long- or narrow-faced, or both.

    HYPSICEPHALIC

    Possessing a length-height index of 62.6 and over on the living; high headed.

    HYPSICONCH

    Possessing an orbital index of 89.0 and over; high orbitted.


    I


    INFERIOR

    Below, toward the feet.

    INFERIOR NASAL CONCHAE

    One of three scroll-like bones that project from the lateral wall of the nasal cavity; the inferior nasal conchae articulate with the ethmoid, maxilla, lacrimal and palatine bones and form the lower part of the lateral wall of the nasal cavity.

    INFRA-

    Prefix meaning below or under.

    INION (i)

    A projection in the center of the superior nuchal line of the occipital bone; inion may be absent in cases of occipital torus.

    INTEROCULAR DISTANCE (interocular diameter) (en-en)

    Measured by sliding caliper: covering tips of caliper with index fingers, place fixed tip above subject's right endocanthion; use 3rd and 5th fingers to steady instrument above subject's face as you slide left tip to the left endocanthion.

    INTERORBITAL DISTANCE

    The distance between the inner borders of the bony eye sockets.


    L

    LACRIMAL BONE

    A thin scalelike bone, roughly resembling a fingernail in size and shape, at the anterior part of the medial wall of the orbit, articulating with the frontal and ethmoidal bones and the maxilla and inferior nasal concha.

    LAMBDA

    A point at the juncture of the parietal and occipital bones.

    LAMBDOID

    Pertaining to the region of lambda.

    LATERAL

    Away from the midline.

    LENGTH-HEIGHT INDEX

    (head height * 100) / head length

    On the living, the height measurement is the auricular height; on the skull, the basion-bregma height is usually employed.

    LEPTENE

    Possessing an upper facial index of 55.0 and over on the skull; long or narrow upper-faced, or both.

    LEPTOPROSOPIC

    Possessing (on the living) a facial index of 88.0 to 92.9; long- or narrow-faced, or both.

    LEPTORRHINE

    Possessing a nasal index of 46.9 and under on the skull, or of 69.9 and under on the living; relatively narrow-nosed.

    LOWER FACE DEPTH (gn-t)

    Measured on the left and right sides of the face using spreading calipers: similar to mid face depth, place the anterior tip of the caliper to the anterior point of gnathion and touch posterior tip lightly to tragus; reverse for other side of face.

    M

    MALARS (zygomatic bones)

    The triangular bones on either side of the face below the eyes; commonly referred to as the cheekbones, they form the prominences of the cheeks and part of the outer wall and floor of the orbits.

    MANDIBLE

    The bone forming the lower jaw; the largest and strongest bone of the face, presenting a body and a pair of rami, which articulate with the skull at the tempromandibular joints.

    MASTOID CRESTS

    See supramastoid ridges.

    MAXILLAE

    paried bones uniting to form the upper jawbone. The maxillae atriculate with every bone of the face except the mandible, or lower jawbone.

    MAXIMUM BIPARIETAL BREADTH

    The maximum breadth of the skull taken above the supramastoid crests.

    MAXIMUM CRANIAL BREADTH (eu-eu)

    Measured by spreading calipers: slide both tips of caliper down lateral sides of parietal bones, then move caliper tips forward and back until maximum width (eurions) is reached.

    MAXIMUM CRANIAL LENGTH (g-op)

    Measured by spreading caliper: with anterior caliper tip resting on glabella, slide posterior tip inferiorly along medial line of occipital until maximum width is reached (opisthocranion); conventional technique keeps calipers along a sagittal midline; however, in patients with plagiocephaly, the posterior point of the skull may not be in the midline of the cranium; for clinical purposes take this measurement at the most posterior location.

    MAXIMUM FACIAL BREADTH (zy-zy)

    Measured by spreading caliper: by palpation locate the most lateral point of the zygomatic arch with the tips of index fingers and place the caliper tips on the arches with enough pressure to feel the bone; move the caliper back and forth, up and down until scale shows maximum reading.

    MAXIMUM FRONTAL BREADTH (maximum frontal diameter)

    The distance between the lower anterior extremities of the frontal bone at the fronto-malar junctures.

    MEDIAL

    Toward the midline.

    MEDIAN PLANE (midsagittal plane)

    Divides the body into right and left halves.

    MENTON

    See gnathion.

    MESENE

    Possessing an upper facial index of 50.0 to 54.9 on the skull; of moderate or intermediate upper face form.

    MESOCEPHALIC

    Possessing a cephalic index of 76.0 to 80.9; intermediate in head form.

    MESOCONCH

    Possessing an orbital index of 83.0 to 88.9; of moderate or intermediate orbital form.

    MESOCRANIAL

    Possessing a cranial index of 75.0 to 79.9; of moderate or intermediate skull form.

    MESOPROSOPIC

    Possessing (on the living) a facial index of 84.0 to 87.9; moderate in face form.

    MESORRHINE

    Possessing a nasal index of 47.0 to 50.9 on the skull, or of 70.0 to 84.9 on the living; of moderate nasal proportions.

    MID FACE DEPTH (sn-t)

    Measured on the right and left sides of the face using spreading calipers: place the anterior tip of the caliper at subnasale and touch the posterior tip to tragus; reverse for other side of face.

    MIDSAGITTAL PLANE (median plane)

    Divides the body into right and left halves.

    MINIMUM FRONTAL BREADTH (minimum frontal diameter) (ft-ft)

    Measured by spreading calipers: by palpation with index fingers, identify temporal crests of frontal bone; continue along crests to the deepest (most medial) points of curves superior to the superior orbital rims; make sure caliper tips do not slip into temporal fossae.

    MORPHOLOGICAL CHARACTERS

    Non-metrical, observational attributes of the human body.

    MORPHOLOGICAL FACE HEIGHT (total face height) (n-gn)

    Meausured by sliding caliper: place the fixed tip of caliper at the subject's gnathion, slide the moveable end superiorly until it contacts nasion.

    MORPHOLOGICAL UPPER FACE HEIGHT

    The height of the face from nasion to alveon or prosthion; on the living, to the lower border of the gums between the two upper median incisors.


    N

    NASAL BONE

    Small oblong bones that meet at the middle and superior part of the face; their fusion forms the superior part of the bridge of the nose.

    NASAL INDEX

    (nose breadth * 100) / nose height

    NASIO-BREGMATIC ARC

    The distance, on the external surface of the skull in a sagittal line, between nasion and bregma; the sagittal arc of the frontal bone.

    NASION (n)

    The midpoint on the naso-frontal suture; the root of the nose.

    NASION DEPRESSION

    The depression in the facial profile below glabella, in the region of nasion.

    NASO-LABIAL FOLDS

    The creases running from the nasal wings to the corners of the mouth, and delimiting the area of the integumental upper lip.

    NOSE HEIGHT

    On the skull, from nasion to the lower borders of the piriform opening; on the living, from nasion to the lowest point on the posterior border of the nasal septum, where it joins the upper lip.


    O

    OCCIPITAL

    Pertaining to the occipital bone.

    OCCIPUT (occipital bone)

    A single trapezoid-shaped bone situated at the posterior and inferior part of the cranium, from the foramen magnum to lambda.

    OCCIPITAL FLATTENING

    A vertical flattening of the occipital bone below lambda; in some cases of hereditary and in others of artificial causation.

    OCCIPITAL TORUS

    A pronounced ridging of the superior nuchal line of the occiput.

    OPHYRON

    An arbitrary point on the median sagittal line of the frontal bone, immediately above, and usually posterior to, glabella.

    OPISTHION

    The midpoint on the posterior border of the foramen magnum.

    OPISTHOCRANION (op)

    The most prominent posterior point on the occiput.

    ORBIT

    The bony eye socket.

    ORBITO-TRAGIAL DISTANCE(upper cheek depth) (ex-t)

    Measured on the left and right sides of the face using spreading calipers: hold the anterior tip of caliper to exocanthion, touch posterior tip lightly to tragus; reverse for other side of face.

    ORTHOCEPHALIC

    Possessing a length-height index on the skull of 74.9 or under; on the living of 62.9 or under; relatively low-headed.

    ORTHOGNATHOUS

    Straight-jawed, as opposed to prognathous.

    OTOBASION INFERIUS

    The lowest point of attachment of the exteral ear to the head.

    OTOBASION SUPERIUS

    The highest point of attachment of the exteral ear to the head.


    P

    PAEDOMORPHIC

    Child-like in bodily form; a partial synonym of foetalized and infantile.

    PALATAL TORUS

    A thickening and downward projection of the central sagittal line marking the junction of the two sides of the palate.

    PALATINE BONE

    One of two irregularly shaped bones (L-shaped) forming the posterior part of the hard palate, the lateral wall of the nasal fossa between the medial pterygoid plate and the maxilla, and the posterior part of the floor of the orbit; the posterior part of the hard palate, which separates the nasal cavity from the oral cavity, is formed by the horizontal plates.

    PALPATION

    Feeling with the finger or fingers to locate anatomical landmarks.

    PALPEBRAL OPENING

    The distance between the eyelids when the eye is open.

    PARIETAL BONES

    One of the two quadrilateral bones on either side of the cranium forming part of the superior and lateral surfaces of the skull, and joining each other in the midline at the sagittal suture. The parietal bones form the greater portion of the sides and roof of the cranial cavity.

    PIRIFORM OPENING

    The aperture of the nasal passages in the facial skeleton.

    PORION (po)

    The most superior point on the upper margin of the external auditory meatus with the head in the Frankfort horizontal plane.

    POSTERIOR (dorsal)

    The back side of the body.

    PROGNATHISM

    A forward projection of the jaws.

    PROSTHION (alveon) (pr)

    The most anterior point on the alveolar border of the upper jaw, on the median line between the two upper median incisors.

    PROXIMAL

    Closest part nearest the trunk or head.


    Q,R

    RELATIVE SHOULDER BREADTH

    (biacromial diameter * 100) / stature

    RELATIVE SITTING HEIGHT

    (sitting height * 100) / stature

    RELATIVE SPAN

    (span * 100) / stature


    S

    SIGMOID NOTCH

    The curved upper surface of the ascending ramus of the mandible between the coronoid process and the condyle.

    SITTING HEIGHT

    The height of the human body from chair to vertex, taken while the subject is sitting erect.

    SKULL

    The cranium and the mandible.

    SPAN

    The distance between the two middle finger tips when the arms are stretched in opposite directions; maximum arm stretch.

    SPHENOID BONE

    A single, irregular, wedge-shaped bone at the base of the skull, which forms a part of the floor of the anterior, middle, and posterior cranial fossae; this bone is referred to as the keystone of the cranial floor because it articulates with all the other cranial bones.

    SUB-BRACHYCEPHALIC

    Possessing a cephalic index of 80.0 to 82.0; moderately round-headed.

    SUBNASALE (sn)

    In the midline, the junction between the lower border of the nasal septum and the cutaneous portion of the upper lip.

    SUPERCILIARY REGION

    The browridge area, literally the region above the eyelids.

    SUPERIOR (cranial)

    Above or near the head.

    SUPRA-

    Prefix meaning above or over.

    SUPRAMASTOID RIDGES (mastoid crests)

    Bony crests above the mastoids, usually on the temporal bones alone, but extending in some cases onto the parietals.

    SUPRAORBITAL BREADTH - BONY (fz-fz)

    Measured by spreading caliper: place tips of caliper at the right and left frontozygomaticus.

    SUPRAORBITAL HALF-BREADTH (fz-g)

    Measured on the right and left sides of the head by sliding caliper: place the tip of the fixed arm at the frontozygomatic suture and slide the arm medially until it touches glabella.

    SUPRAORBITAL REGION

    The area of the frontal bone immediately above the orbits.

    SUPRAORBITAL TORUS

    An exaggerated form of browridge in which the prominence is continuous.

    SYMPHYSIAL HEIGHT (OF MANDIBLE)

    The depth of the mandible from the point between the two lower median incisors to menton.


    T

    TEMPORAL BONE

    One of the two irregular bones on either side of the skull forming part of the lateral surfaces and base of the skull, and containing the organs of hearing; the temporal bones form the inferior sides of the cranium and part of the cranial floor.

    TORUS

    One of the several bony ridges or crests which may occur on the cranium.

    TOTAL CRANIOFACIAL HEAD HEIGHT (v-gn)

    Measured in the midline using a double sliding caliper and a level.

    TOTAL FACE HEIGHT

    See morphological face height.

    TRAGION (t)

    Point at the notch above the tragus of the ear where the upper edge of the cartilage disappears into the skin of the face.

    TRANSVERSE PLANE

    Divides the body into a superior (or upper) and an inferior (or lower) section; also called the horiontal plane.

    TRICHION

    The midpoint of the hairline.

    TYMPANIC PLATE

    That portion of the temporal bone which forms the anterior border of the auditory opening, or bony ear hole.


    U

    UPPER CHEEK DEPTH

    See orbito-tragial distance.

    UPPER FACE DEPTH (n-t)

    Measured on the right and life sides of the face using spreading calipers: place the anterior tip of the caliper at nasion and touch the posterior tip lightly to tragus; reverse for other side of face.

    UPPER FACE HEIGHT (n-pr)

    On the skull, the distance from nasion to prosthion; on the living, the distance from nasion to the lowest point on the gums between the two upper median incisors, corresponding as nearly as possible to the measurement on the skull.

    UPPER FACIAL INDEX

    (upper face height * 100) / bizygomatic


    V

    VENTRAL (anterior)

    The front side of the body.

    VERTEX (v)

    The highest point on the head with the head in the Frankfort horizontal plane.

    VOMER

    A roughly triangular bone that forms the inferior and posterior of the nasal septum.


    W,X,Y,Z

    ZYGION (zy)

    The most lateral point on the zygomatic arch.

    ZYGOMATIC ARCH

    The bony arch, formed of portions of the malar and temporal bones, which encloses the temporal muscles and serves as the upper attachment of the masseter.

    ZYGOMATIC BONES

    See malars.

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