Using the Acetabulum to Estimate Age at Death of Adult Males

Authors

  • Carme Rissech Ph.D.,

    1. Dept. de Antropologia, Facultad de Ciências, Universidad de Coimbra, 3000-056-Coimbra, Portugal.
    2. Unitat d'Antropologia, Dept. de Biologia Animal, Vegetal i Ecologia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain.
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  • George F. Estabrook Ph.D.,

    1. Deptment of Ecology and Evolution, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1048.
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  • Eugenia Cunha Ph.D.,

    1. Dept. de Antropologia, Facultad de Ciências, Universidad de Coimbra, 3000-056-Coimbra, Portugal.
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  • Assumpció Malgosa Ph.D.

    1. Unitat d'Antropologia, Dept. de Biologia Animal, Vegetal i Ecologia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain.
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  • *Grant Sponsorship: research grant (SFRH/BPD/6075/2001) from Fundação para Ciência e a Tecnologia—Operational Program Science Technology and Innovation (POCTI) to C Rissech and the Sabbatical Leave Program of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor to G. F. Estabrook.

  • Part of this work was presented as a poster in the 14th Congress of European Anthropological Association. Human Variability: A Bridge between Sciences and Humanities in Komotini, Greece (September 1–5, 2004). The title of the poster was “Acetabular Observations Enable Accurate Estimates of Age at Death of Adults over 40 years.”

Additional information and reprint requests:
Carme Rissech, Ph.D.
Unitat d'Antropologia
Departament de Biologia Animal, Vegetal i Ecologia
Facultat de Ciències
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
08193 Bellaterra
Spain
E-mail: rissechc@ci.uc.pt

Abstract

ABSTRACT: The acetabular region is often present and adequately preserved in adult human skeletal remains. Close morphological examination of the 242 left male os coxae from the identified collection of Coimbra (Portugal) has enabled the recognition of seven variables that can be used to estimate age at death. This paper describes these variables and argues their appropriateness by analyzing the correlation between these criteria and the age, the intra- and interobserver consistence, and the accuracy in age prediction using Bayesian inference to estimate age of identified specimens. Results show significant close correlation between the acetabular criteria and age, nonsignificant differences in intra- and interobserver test, and 89% accuracy in Bayes prediction. Obtained estimated age of the specimens had similar accuracy in all ages. These results indicate that these seven variables, based on the acetabular area, are potentially useful to estimate age at death for adult specimens.

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