Volume 44, Issue 5 (September 1999)
Evaluation of Seven Methods of Estimating Age at Death from Mature Human Skeletal Remains
Different approaches to the estimation of age at death in mature human skeletal remains were evaluated utilizing samples from 19 recent French autopsy individuals of known age at death. Methods of estimating age at death from single-rooted teeth, the sternal ends of the fourth ribs, the symphyseal face of the pubis and femoral cortical remodeling were evaluated by two independent observers (three observers for the teeth). Comparison included ages estimated from three more comprehensive approaches utilizing data from the application of two or more of the individual methods. The results indicate that the comprehensive approaches are superior to the individual ones and the success of the latter reflects not only the morphological expression of the aging process, but also the technique complexity and the experience of the investigator. Of the individual techniques, the “Lamendin” dental technique was most effective for individuals of ages greater than 25 years.