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Keywords:

  • postcranium;
  • development;
  • age determination;
  • bone maturation;
  • epiphyseal fusion

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.