One of the greatest limitations to the application of the revised Fully anatomical stature estimation method is the inability to measure some of the skeletal elements required in its calculation. These element dimensions cannot be obtained due to taphonomic factors, incomplete excavation, or disease processes, and result in missing data. This study examines methods of imputing these missing dimensions using observable Fully measurements from the skeleton and the accuracy of incorporating these missing element estimations into anatomical stature reconstruction. These are further assessed against stature estimations obtained from mathematical regression formulae for the lower limb bones (femur and tibia). Two thousand seven hundred and seventeen North and South American indigenous skeletons were measured, and subsets of these with observable Fully dimensions were used to simulate missing elements and create estimation methods and equations. Comparisons were made directly between anatomically reconstructed statures and mathematically derived statures, as well as with anatomically derived statures with imputed missing dimensions. These analyses demonstrate that, while mathematical stature estimations are more accurate, anatomical statures incorporating missing dimensions are not appreciably less accurate and are more precise. The anatomical stature estimation method using imputed missing dimensions is supported. Missing element estimation, however, is limited to the vertebral column (only when lumbar vertebrae are present) and to talocalcaneal height (only when femora and tibiae are present). Crania, entire vertebral columns, and femoral or tibial lengths cannot be reliably estimated. Further discussion of the applicability of these methods is discussed.
Stature estimation methods for adult indigenous humans from the Americas have generally relied on a limited number of regression equations. The available equations, however, are not broadly applicable to the diversity of the populations that lived in the New World prior to European colonization. Furthermore, some equations that have been used were originally derived from inappropriate reference samples, such as the "Mongoloid" group measured by Trotter and Gleser (Am J Phys Anthropol 16  79-123). This study develops new stature estimation equations for long bones of the lower limb from a geographically diverse sample of North American archaeological sites. Statures were reconstructed from 967 skeletons from 75 archaeological sites using the revised Fully anatomical technique (Raxter et al., Am J Phys Anthropol 130  374-384). Archaeological samples were grouped according to general body proportions, using relative tibia and femur length to stature as guides. On the basis of differences in these proportions, three broad groupings were identified: a high latitude "arctic" group, a general "temperate" group, and a Great Plains group. Sex-specific ordinary least squares regression formulae were developed based on femoral and tibial lengths for each of these groups. Comparisons of the new stature estimation equations with previously available equations were conducted using several archaeological test samples. In most cases, the new stature estimation equations are more precise than those previously available, and we recommend their use throughout most of North America. The equations developed by Genovés for Mesoamerican and US Southwest samples are a useful alternative for these regions. Applicability of the new equations to South American samples awaits further testing.