Osteometric sorting of skeletal elements from a sample of modern Colombians: a pilot study

Juan Manuel Guerrero Rodríguez, Lucina Hackman, Wendy Martínez, César Sanabria Medina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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The Colombian armed conflict has been catalogued not only as the longest civil war in the western hemisphere, but also as having one of the highest indexes of missing persons. Among the several challenges faced by forensic practitioners in Colombia, the commingling of human remains has been recognised as one of the most difficult to approach. The method of osteometric sorting described by Byrd and Adams and Byrd (2008) has proven relevant as a powerful tool to aid in the reassociation process of skeletal structures. The aim of this research was to evaluate the three osteometric sorting models developed by Byrd (2008) (paired elements, articulating bone portions and other bone portions) in a sample of modern Colombian individuals. A set of 39 linear measurements was recorded from a sample of 100 individuals (47 females and 53 males aged between 20 and 74 and 18 and 77 years, respectively), which was used to create a reference sample database. A different subset of eight individuals (five females aged between 23 and 48 years, and three males aged between 27 and 43 years) was employed to randomly create six small-scale commingled assemblages for the purposes of testing the osteometric sorting models. Results demonstrate that this method has significant potential for use in the Colombian forensic context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-550
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Legal Medicine
Issue number2
Early online date15 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • Armed conflict
  • Colombia
  • Commingled human remains
  • Forensic anthropology
  • Osteometric sorting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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