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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

Age determination using the human skeleton

Forensic Anthropology

11-21-2008

age determination at death
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
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
age determination of subadults
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
age determination of subadults5
Age determination of subadults
  • Fontanels
    • Frontal (anterior)
    • Sphenoid
    • Mastoid
    • Occipital (posterior)
  • Table 9.2
age determination of subadults6
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
age determination of subadults7
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
age determination of adults
Age determination of adults
  • Pubic symphasis
  • Auricular surface
  • Rib ends
  • Cranial sutures
  • Vertebrae
age and the adult skull p 44
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)
dental aging with adult teeth
Dental aging with adult teeth
  • Dental attrition (wear) most useful in paleoanthropology and archaeology populations
  • What changed?
    • Processed food, dental care
age and the ribs p 74
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
age and the spine p 88
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
age and the adult pelvis
Age and the adult pelvis
  • Auricular surface (p.127)
    • Apex
    • Demifaces
    • retroauricular areas
age and the adult pelvis14
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
age determination15
Age determination
  • Histological methods
  • Dental changes
  • Other methods
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