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Class Notes: Human Osteology

Tuesday: November 1, 2011

Week 7: Osteometrics & Craniometrics


We ran through some siding techniques for the small carpals and tarsals. Laura added with her “laurisms” and Amber had one of her own too. I’ve also made a few of mine. Here is a breakdown:


Scaphoid: Look at the side that resembles a snail (the convext suface). It crawls to the side its from.

Lunate: Hold it with your thumb in the groove and the box-like projection is on the side its from.

Triquetral: Hold the pinchy facet (the facet that wraps around the corner) and the circle facet at the top will be on the side its from.

Trapezium: Hold it like a cross and the groove will be on the side its from.

Trapezoid: Look at the zippered boot, and the toe points to the side it is from.

Capitate: Look at the flat side and imagine it to be a bust. The flowing hair hangs down on the side its from.

Hamate: Look directly at the pinchy facet and the hammer will be on the side its from.

Pisiform: This bone is not typically worth siding, and techniques do not always work correctly.


Calcaneous: Hold like a wii remote, and the comfortable hand is the side its from.

Talus: Hold with the ball in your palm and your thumb in the concave facet. The comfortable hand is the side its from.

Navicular: Hold with your thumb in the concave facet and the point under your index finger. It will point to the side its from.

Cuboid: Look at the dinosaur head, and it wants to eat the side its from.

1st Cuneiform: Hold with your thumb on the kidney bean facet, with the L-shaped facet facing you. It is on the side its from.

2nd Cuneiform: Look at the flat non-articular surface as if it is a house. The slanted roof points to the side its from.

3rd Cuneiform: Look at the concave facet with its point down. The more dipped side is on the side its from.

Class discussion then went over how to measure bones using sliding calipers, spreading calipers, an osteometric board, and a measuring tape. Then we began measuring our skeletal projects.


We walked through Fordisc, a discriminant function analysis program which calculates ancestry relationships using a suite of metric data. Today was another lab day for our skeletal project.


Quiz and more lab, as usual. No organized discussion, just a lot of inventorying and measuring.

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4 remarks!

  1. Wow ….You are sure busy…no time to play….that is good.
    Do they give you a quiz after each lesson?

  2. We have quizzes every Friday before lab starts. They not only cover the new material each week, but all the material we have covered over the entire semester.

  3. Whoops…there are all those words I can’t begin to spell let alone remember what they mean…you will have to keep going and maybe
    just…maybe some day I too will know what they all mean. I am depending upon your knowledge.

  4. That could be scary! ;)

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