Mittwoch, 17. Juni 2020, 17:30 - 18:00

E-Lecture: Do pelvic features relate to childbirth?

Evidence from a geometric morphometric study of pelvic shape

Lukas Waltenberger (OREA)

Pelvic features, or parturition scars, have been extensively studied in the last decades and are frequently investigated in archaeological and forensic contexts. It is still unclear, however, whether they really relate to pregnancy and birth, or whether these features are caused by other biomechanical factors. Because the length and difficulty of labor correlates with the form of the birth canal, we studied the association between the expression of pelvic features and pelvic shape using geometric morphometrics.

The expression of the preauricular sulcus, margo sacralis groove, preauricular extensions, dorsal and ventral pubic pitting have been scored for 19 individuals from the Bronze Age cemetery of Hainburg, Austria and 54 individuals from a 19th century collection anatomical collection with background information about the deceased. Based on photogrammetric surface models, pelvic shape was captured by 331 landmarks placed on every important anatomical structure. Furthermore, semilandmarks were placed along curves on the pelvis to describe differences of curved structures of the pelvis and the birth canal. The data were evaluated using multivariate statistical methods such as principal component analysis and partial least squares analysis to detect patterns of pelvic shapes related to different expressions of parturition scars.