Age At Death Of A Skeleton Analysis

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Determining the age at death of a skeleton can be complicated and possibly difficult dependant on state of preservation, bones present, or archaeological context. By using measurements of the present long bones and the data that correlates the fusion times of the distal and proximal epiphyseal unions, an age at time of death can be narrowed down to a less broad range. While this measurement method is not completely accurate, dentition ageing techniques and cross referencing of the data observed in conjunction with the charts of tooth formation times, eruption and morphology of the dentition, an accurate age of the specimen provided can be assessed. The skeleton of UC21 and the accompanied cranium and mandible of UC28, will provide
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The epiphyseal ends were present in the inventory and allowed for an accurate measurement of the diaphysis of each of the long bones. The adjacent descriptions in regards to the textbook charts provide the data necessary to narrow down the age at death of the specimen. Using the charts in Juvenile Osteology, A Laboratory and Field Manual(Schaefer, Black, and Scheuer 2009a) and Human Osteology (White, Black, and Folkens 2012), a correlation was determined and an age range was decided. However, due to the variability in growth patterns and epiphyseal fusion times to narrow down the age range, dental observations were employed to provide a more accurate age range. The work of Douglas Ubelaker (Ubelaker 1989), provide a detailed description of the types of features that are observable in the deciduous and permanent dentition that allow for an observer to narrow down an age range. By comparing these expected models of dental development with the radiographic images of the maxilla and mandible, an accurate age range was established.

After correlating the measurements of the long bones with the respective charts that outline the length that is average and expected at different stages of life and then accounting for population variations, we calculated an age of 4 to 6 years old at time of death. The lack of fusion in the distal and medial epiphysis of the long bones allowed a narrowed down age ascription of the specimen.
Bone Left mm/ Right mm

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