Brief communication: Infracranial maturation in the skeletal collection from Coimbra, Portugal: New aging standards for epiphyseal union

Authors

  • Hélène Coqueugniot,

    Corresponding author
    1. UMR 5199-PACEA, Laboratoire d'Anthropologie des Populations du Passé, Université Bordeaux 1, avenue des Facultés, 33405 Talence cedex, France
    2. Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany
    • Laboratoire d'Anthropologie des Populations du Passé, Université Bordeaux 1, avenue des Facultés, 33405 Talence cedex, France
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  • Timothy D. Weaver

    1. Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616
    2. Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany
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Abstract

Age at death of a single skeletal individual or a group is essential information in archaeological, paleoanthropological, and forensic contexts. Dental remains are the most commonly used age indicators, but when the dentition is not available, or too few teeth are present for an accurate age assessment, other age indicators such as skeletal maturation must be used. Of particular utility in this regard is the fusion of the epiphyses of the infracranial skeleton. Here we present new aging standards based on the infracranial maturation of individuals from the known age and sex collection from Coimbra, Portugal. We scored infracranial epiphyseal fusion and spheno-occipital synchondrosis closure (64 loci of ossification in total) on 137 skeletons from individuals between 7 and 29 years old. We further discuss developmental differences between the sexes and similarities and differences between the Coimbra documented collection and other published aging standards. Am J Phys Anthropol 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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