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Keywords:

  • forensic science;
  • forensic anthropology;
  • skeletal age estimation;
  • acetabulum;
  • adult male;
  • os coxae

Abstract:  This study evaluates the accuracy and precision of a skeletal age estimation method, using the acetabulum of 100 male ossa coxae from the Grant Collection (GRO) at the University of Toronto, Canada. Age at death was obtained using Bayesian inference and a computational application (IDADE2) that requires a reference population, close in geographic and temporal distribution to the target case, to calibrate age ranges from scores generated by the technique. The inaccuracy of this method is 8 years. The direction of bias indicates the acetabulum technique tends to underestimate age. The categories 46–65 and 76–90 years exhibit the smallest inaccuracy (0.2), suggesting that this method may be appropriate for individuals over 40 years. Eighty-three percent of age estimates were ±12 years of known age; 79% were ±10 years of known age; and 62% were ±5 years of known age. Identifying a suitable reference population is the most significant limitation of this technique for forensic applications.