Age determination using the human skeleton
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Age determination using the human skeleton. Forensic Anthropology 11-21-2008. Age determination at death. Methods based on Skeletal growth and dentition Subadults (fetus to young adult) Based on ossification and fusion Deterioration of skeleton with advancing age Adults Not as accurate.

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Age determination using the human skeleton

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Age determination using the human skeleton l.jpg
Age determination using the human skeleton

Forensic Anthropology

11-21-2008


Age determination at death l.jpg
Age determination at death

  • Methods based on

    • Skeletal growth and dentition

      • Subadults (fetus to young adult)

      • Based on ossification and fusion

    • Deterioration of skeleton with advancing age

      • Adults

      • Not as accurate


Age determination l.jpg
Age determination

  • Primary and secondary ossification centers grow together to form larger segments (epiphyses, diaphyses)

  • Teeth grow by tissue deposit in open areas called crypts


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Age determination of subadults

  • Long bone lengths – up to time of birth

    • After birth, less reliable

  • Union of primary ossification centers

    • Follows a rough schedule

      • Recovery unlikely

      • Fontanels most useful

  • Tooth formation/eruption

    • Deposition goes from cusp to root

  • Epiphyseal union


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    Age determination of subadults

    • Fontanels

      • Frontal (anterior)

      • Sphenoid

      • Mastoid

      • Occipital (posterior)

    • Table 9.2


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    Age determination of subadults

    • Sequences of dental eruption

      • ~ 1 year, first deciduous teeth

      • By 4 years old, all deciduous teeth erupted

      • 6 years, first permanent molar

      • 8 years, permanent incisors

      • 12 years, no deciduous teeth left, 2nd molar erupted

      • By 18-21 all 32 permanent teeth present, fully formed and occluding


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    Age determination of subadults

    • Epiphyseal union

      • Most useful for ages 10-25 years

      • Stages: non union, unfused, fused, obliterated

      • Figure 9.16

    • Epiphyses

      • Long bones: 2+ each

      • Ribs: 2 each

      • Vert C3 – T12: 5 each

      • Vert L1 – L5: 7 each


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    Age determination of adults

    • Pubic symphasis

    • Auricular surface

    • Rib ends

    • Cranial sutures

    • Vertebrae


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    ADULTS –

    Suture closures – not a consistent rate of closure, best for estimation only

    Sagittal closes first – posterior to anterior

    Coronal next

    Lambdoidal last

    Squamousal – RARELY closes

    Lapsed union – sutures not fully closed, but bulges at the edges

    Granular pits/pacchionian depressions increase on interior of skull toward midline

    Age and the adult skull (p.44)


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    Dental aging with adult teeth

    • Dental attrition (wear) most useful in paleoanthropology and archaeology populations

    • What changed?

      • Processed food, dental care


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    Age and the ribs (p.74)

    • Bone to cartilage interface changes with age (sternal end)

    • Cartilage gradually ossifies

    • Stages 0-8

      • V-shaped concavity forms and deepens

      • Edges loose smoothness, become sharp

      • Wavy interior surface smoothes out

      • s/I surfaces project, advance to form crab-claw edges


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    Age and the spine (p.88)

    • Vertebral bodies – 4 stages

      • Appearance and changes of the epiphyseal rings

      • Obliteration of undulations

      • Presence/absence of line of fusion

      • Increasing porousness of bone

      • Osteophytes increase with advanced age

    • Sacrum – transverse line between S1 and S2 fuses in the mid-twenties or later


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    Age and the adult pelvis

    • Auricular surface (p.127)

      • Apex

      • Demifaces

      • retroauricular areas


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    Age and the adult pelvis

    • Pubic symphysis (p.123-125)

      • Pubic face: surface undulations

        • Ridges and furrows/flat and granular/pitted and eroded

      • Ventral and dorsal margins: changing shape of the edge surfaces

      • Upper and lower extremities: erosion and lipping

      • Ossific nodules


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    Age determination

    • Histological methods

    • Dental changes

    • Other methods


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