Age assessment of the Spitalfields cemetery population by rib phase analysis
ABSTRACT Accurate paleodemographic reconstruction depends in large part on the ability to estimate age at death from the skeleton. Thus, it is important to evaluate the reliability of standards utilized for this assessment. The rib phase technique has proven to be one of the most consistently reliable means of determining age in modern human adults. A recent study also demonstrated that this method can be applied to Neandertals because they exhibit the same pattern of age-related change. However, the efficacy of the rib phases in aging archaeological populations of anatomically modern humans has not been systematically examined. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to determine if ribs from the 16th to 18th century Spitalfields cemetery population (with church records of age at death) manifest a morphological aging pattern similar to that found in the recent specimens upon which the rib phase standards are based. Age was assessed on a sample of 87 individuals using only the sternal ends of the ribs without access to the rest of the skeleton or records of age and sex. Results indicated that Spitalfields ribs exhibit essentially the same aging patterns found in the ribs of modern Whites. Overall, the demographic profile generated from the ribs produced a good approximation of this sample in both range and distribution. Error was in the direction of underaging, and results for males were better than for females. The present findings indicate that the rib can be considered a reliable site for age estimation in archaeological populations. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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ABSTRACT: The morphology of the sternal end of the right fourth rib has been proffered as an accurate age assessor in skeletonized individuals of both sexes. This technique was tested for its applicability on left and right II, III, V-IX. Tests were performed between phase scores obtained from right and left ribs; right rib IV phase scores and scores obtained from the others in the right rib series; and between right rib IV scores and a composite score composed of the average of an individual's phase scores (omitting rib IV). Left ribs IV-IX were found not to vary significantly from their right counterparts. Although only right rib II was found to vary significantly from rib IV, use of the other ribs in the series should be undertaken with caution due to questions concerning their statistical significance. A composite score is therefore recommended for use instead.Journal of Forensic Sciences 04/2001; 46(2):223-7. · 1.23 Impact Factor
Article: A test of the effectiveness of the revised maxillary suture obliteration method in estimating adult age at death.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The effectiveness of the original maxillary suture method for estimating age at death, introduced in 1987 by Mann and colleagues, has been tested, but their revised maxillary suture method (1991) has not been subject to similar scrutiny. The purpose of this study is to test the accuracy of the revised maxillary suture method in estimating age at death on a genetically diverse skeletal sample of 155 maxillae (96 males, 59 females, aged 26 to 100 years) of known age at death from the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Cape Town, South Africa. Results from a prior study of the original maxillary suture method will be compared. With age category correctly estimated for 83% of this sample, the results of this study indicate that the revised method is more effective in estimating age at death than the original method. The revised method appears to perform best for older individuals and tends to underestimate age for individuals of all age groups. The results suggest that the revised method is useful as a method for age estimation when it is used conjunction with other estimators.Journal of Forensic Sciences 12/2005; 50(6):1303-9. · 1.23 Impact Factor