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A comparison of three established age estimation methods on an adult Spanish sample.
Rissech, C.; Wilson, J.; Winburn, A.; Turbón, Daniel; Steadman, D.
Universitat de Barcelona
Most current methods for adult skeletal age-at-death estimation are based on American samples comprising individuals of European and African ancestry. Our limited understanding of population variability hampers our efforts to apply these techniques to various skeletal populations around the world, especially in global forensic contexts. Further, documented skeletal samples are rare, limiting our ability to test our techniques. The objective of this paper is to test three pelvic macroscopic methods (1-Suchey-Brooks; 2- Lovejoy; 3- Buckberry and Chamberlain) on a documented modern Spanish sample. These methods were selected because they are popular among Spanish anthropologists and because they never have been tested in a Spanish sample. The study sample consists of 80 individuals (55 ♂ and 25 ♀) of known sex and age from the Valladolid collection. Results indicate that in all three methods, levels of bias and inaccuracy increase with age. The Lovejoy method performs poorly (27%) compared with Suchey-Brooks (71%) and Buckberry and Chamberlain (86%). However, the levels of correlation between phases and chronological ages are low and comparable in the three methods (< 0.395). The apparent accuracy of the Suchey-Brooks and Buckberry and Chamberlain methods is largely based on the broad width of the methods" estimated intervals. This study suggests that before systematic application of these three methodologies in Spanish populations, further statistical modeling and research into the co-variance of chronological age with morphological change is necessary. Future methods should be developed specific to various world populations, and should allow for both precision and flexibility in age estimation.
Antropologia forense
Forensic anthropology
(c) Springer Verlag, 2012
Springer Verlag

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