Volume 25, Issue 4 (October 1980)
Mineralization of the Costal Cartilages as an Indicator of Age: Preliminary Observations
Soft X-ray examination of costal cartilages from 210 cadavers indicated a roughly linear increase in mineralization with advancing age. A cabinet X-ray machine and mammography film were used. Detectable mineralization was not found before the age of 15 and was rarely marked before the age of 50. Similar degrees of mineralization over a wide age span during middle years seriously limits the value of this method of age estimation while the ease, rapidity, and relative inexpensiveness of this procedure on intact or partially decomposed bodies recommends its use, especially where an expert physical (forensic) anthropologist is not readily available.