Histological Estimation of Age at Death from the Compact Bone of Burned and Unburned Human Ribs

Authors

  • Karolina Absolonova Mgr.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Immunology and Microbiology, 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Studnickova 7, 128 00, Prague 2, Czech Republic
    • Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Vinicna 7, 128 00, Prague 2, Czech Republic
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  • Petr Veleminsky RNDr., Ph.D.,

    1. Department of Anthropology, The Natural History Museum of the National Museum in Prague, Vaclavske namesti 68, 115 79, Prague 1, Czech Republic
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  • Miluse Dobisikova RNDr.,

    1. Department of Anthropology, The Natural History Museum of the National Museum in Prague, Vaclavske namesti 68, 115 79, Prague 1, Czech Republic
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  • Michal Beran MUDr., Ph.D.,

    1. Institute of Legal Medicine, 2nd Faculty of Medicine and Faculty Hospital Na Bulovce in Prague, Charles University, Budinova 2, 180 81, Prague 8, Czech Republic
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  • Jarmila Zocova RNDr.

    1. Retired person, formerly employed in Charles University, Faculty of Science, Vinicna 7, 128 00, Prague 2, Czech Republic
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  • The preliminary results of this project were presented at the 4th Anthropological Memorial Meeting of prof. J. Matiegka and prof. J. Maly, October 2–3, 2008, in Melnik, Czech Republic, and at The International Congress of Forensic Sciences, September 8–9, 2010, in Valtice, Czech Republic.

Additional information and reprint requests:

Karolina Absolonova, Mgr.

Ustav imunologie a mikrobiologie

1. Lekarska fakulta

Univerzita Karlova

Studnickova 7

128 00 Prague 2

Czech Republic

E-mail: karolina.absolonova@seznam.cz

Abstract

This study describes the estimation of age at death from the compact bone of burned and unburned human ribs. Bone samples came from individuals of known age, sex, and cause of death. Each bone was divided into four sections; three sections were burned at 700, 800, and 1000°C. Undecalcified, unstained ground cross sections were photographed, and 28 variables were analyzed in the bones using SigmaScan Pro 5. Age-related as well as heat-induced microstructural changes were found. These changes were often very similar and made estimating the age at death difficult in the burned bones. Differences between the sexes were found in some variables, caused by both aging and also by the different behavior of some variables during burning. Regression equations were developed to estimate age at death for unburned bones (r² = 0.579 and 0.707), bones burned at 700°C (r² = 0.453 and 0.501), and 800°C (r² = 0.334 and 0.340).

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