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Jawbone measuring device, United States, 1999

Jawbone measuring device, United States, 1999

Credits: National Railway Museum

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A mandibulometer is a precision bone measuring (osteometric) instrument. An anthropologist or skeletal biologist uses it to measure the human lower jawbone. This example was used to research Bleadon Man, one of two Iron Age skeletons discovered when building began on a new housing estate in Somerset, England. Bleadon Man’s jaw shape proves how ancient diets differed from ours. He had developed a robust jawbone because his food contained lots of coarse grit. This specialist device was developed by Jim Kondrat, of Paleo-Tech Instruments. He is an anthropologist based in Wheeling, Illinois. Professionals working in forensic science can also use it.

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Glossary: anthropometry

The measuring of body parts so that comparisons can be made. The aim is to measure normal and abnormal development. In the past, it has also been used in attempts to measure racial difference.

Glossary: measuring device - instrument

Device used to ascertain the value or extent of an object, with regard to size, volume, mass, position or comparison to a standard amount or property.

Glossary: mandibulometer

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