Master of Arts (MA)


Geography and Anthropology

Document Type



Facial tissue depth measurements are used to create forensic facial reconstructions to aid in human remains identification. Collection of such measurements began in the late nineteenth century with anatomists His, Kollman, and Welcker. Their results were used to bring the rich and famous back to life. In the 1970s, the technique of facial reconstruction was revitalized and incorporated into the forensic science field to aid in human identification. However, certain populations are extremely under-represented. This study collected facial tissue depth information from the adult Chinese-American population in New York City. The study sample included 101 adult Chinese-Americans of varying weights and ages residing in New York City. Following the procedure outlined in Manhein et al. (2000), ultrasonic measurements were taken at 19 landmarks on the face. Previously used datasets to represent Chinese-American facial tissue depth (especially Miyasaka 1998; Ogawa 1960; Suzuki 1948) are compared to these data. This thesis examines how the Chinese-American facial tissue depth data compare with other Mongoloid, Manhein et al.'s (2000), and Kollman and Buchly's datasets. As expected, this dataset showed that facial tissue depths in Chinese-Americans were thicker than those of their Japanese counterparts (as represented in Suzuki 1948). In this dataset, statistical tests show that Body Mass Index (BMI) was the strongest determinant of facial tissue depth, while sex and age were the weakest. The results of this study provide valuable facial tissue depth information for a previously under-represented population. Forensic facial reconstructions for Chinese-Americans using this dataset will be more accurate and will increase the chances of positive identification. Further studies would need to be conducted in order to understand the relationship between age, sex, BMI, and facial tissue depth.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Mary H. Manhein