Age assessment of the Spitalfields Cemetery population by rib phase analysis

Department of Anthropology, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton Florida 33431
American Journal of Human Biology (Impact Factor: 1.7). 01/1995; 7(4):465 - 471. DOI: 10.1002/ajhb.1310070408


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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    • "_ Is ßcan developed the so-called ''phases method'', one of the most reliable indicator of age at death in adult skeleton: sternal end of the rib shows morphological changes associated with biological aging and _ Is ßcan divided these changes into 9 phases, corresponding to 9 different age groups [1] [2]. _ Is ßcan provided a full description of the characteristics of each phase and confirmed the reproducibility of the results while other studies the accuracy of the method [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The morphology evaluation of the sternal end of the fourth rib through the İşcan's "phases method" is considered one of the most reliable method for age-at-death estimation of corpses of unknown identity. This study aims to develop a component model for age estimation alternative to İşcan's method. A numerical score, ranging from 3 to 9, was assigned based on the morphology of surface (S), antero/posterior walls (W) and articular margins (M) of the sternal end of the fourth rib in 71 white female corpse. For each component a regression formula was determined. The best correlation between end rib morphology and age-at-death was obtained through the formula of multiple regression with two independent variables (articular surface and antero/posterior walls): Age (years)=6.37(S)+5.33(W)-17.15±3.3.
    Legal Medicine 08/2012; 15(1). DOI:10.1016/j.legalmed.2012.07.002 · 1.24 Impact Factor
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    • "Resulting age ranges show little overlap between age classes, leading Loth and Iscan (2000: 245) to describe the technique as " ... the most consistently reliable method for the determination of age at death in the adult skeleton " . Unfortunately, the efficacy of the method has not been adequately tested; what work has been done suggests the technique is most useful in the 40-to 49-year age ranges [114]. The technique was established using a small sample (108 white males and 83 white females) from Broward County, Florida; as a result, the predicted age ranges should be considered minimal estimates of unknown confidence intervals [5] "
    Wiley Encylopedia of Forensic Science, Edited by A. Jamieson, A. Moenssens, 01/2011: chapter Forensic Anthropology: pages 152-178.; Wiley and Son Ltd.
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    • "I ¨ s ¸can, Loth, and colleagues shifted the focus from ossified sternocostal cartilage to the modeling (remodeling) process of the fourth rib costal face. These authors have described multiple morphologic features of the human fourth rib that have been useful for estimating age-at-death (I ¨ s ¸can et al., 1984, 1987, 1992; I ¨ s ¸can and Loth, 1986a, 1986b; Loth and I ¨ s ¸can, 1994; Loth, 1995). "
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    ABSTRACT: Human first ribs demonstrate predictable, sequential changes in shape, size, and texture with increasing age, and thus, can be used as an indicator of age at death. Metamorphosis of the first rib's head, tubercle, and costal face was documented in a cross-sectional sample of preadult and adult first ribs of known age at death from the Hamann-Todd skeletal collection (Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland, Ohio). Blind tests of the usefulness of the first rib as an age indicator were conducted, including tabulation of intraobserver and interobserver inaccuracies and biases. First rib age estimates show inaccuracies and biases by decade comparable to those generated by other aging techniques. Indeed, the first rib method is useful as an isolated age indicator. When used in conjunction with other age indicators, the first rib improves the quality of summary age assessments.
    American Journal of Physical Anthropology 11/1999; 110(3):303-23. DOI:10.1002/(SICI)1096-8644(199911)110:3<303::AID-AJPA4>3.0.CO;2-O · 2.38 Impact Factor
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