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Keywords:

  • paleodemography;
  • age estimation;
  • biomarker of the skeleton;
  • osteology;
  • dental anthropology

Abstract

Recent advances in the methods of skeletal age estimation have rekindled interest in their applicability to paleodemography. The current study contributes to the discussion by applying several long established as well as recently developed or refined aging methods to a subsample of 121 adult skeletons from the early medieval cemetery of Lauchheim. The skeletal remains were analyzed by 13 independent observers using a variety of aging techniques (complex method and other multimethod approaches, Transition Analysis, cranial suture closure, auricular surface method, osteon density method, tooth root translucency measurement, and tooth cementum annulation counting). The age ranges and mean age estimations were compared and results indicate that all methods showed smaller age ranges for the younger individuals, but broader age ranges for the older age groups. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.