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An investigation of age-related changes at the acetabulum in 18th–19th century ad adult skeletons from Christ Church Spitalfields, London



The age-markers described at the adult acetabulum by Rissech et al. (J Forensic Sci 51 (2006) 213–229) were scored in the Spitalfields collection of skeletons of documented age and sex (N = 161). The purpose of the work was as a contribution to the evaluation of the general utility of these markers for estimating age at death. To this end, their relationship both with age, and with some other factors, was investigated. The latter comprised sex, general tendency toward bone formation in periarticular soft tissue (as measured by the occurrence of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis), and occupation (as documented for some of the males). Of the seven Rissech et al. variables, only four were found to show a statistically significant relationship with age. The correlation between a composite score derived from a linear combination of these four variables, and age was similar to or greater than correlations between age and composite scores based on other age indicators reported in the literature for Spitalfields. Male acetabula aged at a greater rate than those of females. There was no relationship with the occurrence of DISH, but for occupation, those in nonmanual professions showed greater acetabular scores-for-age than those in manual trades. Am J Phys Anthropol 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.