Cranium description (sex, age, and individual characteristics)
The cranium is often damaged or fragmented. A preparatory work such as conservation and reconstruction of damaged or missing fragments is carried out before description.While describing a cranium, an inventory is compiled, in which, apart from registration data, antemortem and postmortem deformation and scope of restoration are specified.After that, sex and age of the individual are determined, and the cerebral and facial parts of the cranium are described.The description includes standard craniological characteristics along with those introduced by Gerasimov. Key areas on which reconstruction is based are described in maximal detail.
The most important part of description
The description follows basic craniological principles with due attention to regularities established by Gerasimov, facial asymmetry in particular. At that stage, individual features providing a basis for a reconstructed portrait are assessed.
A correct sex diagnosis on the basis of external cranial features is possible in 70-80% of cases (a female skull is normally smaller, the frontal tubera are more salient, the supraorbital relief is less expressed, etc.). If postcranial bones are considered, the anatomists can diagnose the sex with greater accuracy. Gerasimov’s enormous expertise and insight allowed him to determine sex nearly unmistakably from the cranium alone.
Based on traditional anatomical criteria (ossification of cranial base, obliteration of sutures, etc.) and the dentition, Gerasimov determined the individual’s age with remarkable accuracy (within 2-3 years, and sometimes even more accurately).