Volume 50, Issue 4 (July 2005)
Comparison of Ages of Epiphyseal Union in North American and Bosnian Skeletal Material
The accurate determination of age at death is a critical component in the analysis of human skeletal remains. Population specific techniques are often used without due consideration of the provenance of the material being studied. This communication considers the ages at which epiphyseal union occur in young Bosnian males and compares those findings to data published by McKern and Stewart on young North American soldiers killed during the Korean War. Of the ten epiphyses considered in this study, all elements were observed to be at least two years in advance in the Bosnian sample compared to the American sample. This article demonstrates that whilst standards based on an American sample produce broadly applicable age ranges for use on forensic work in the Balkans, the age ranges generated produce an upper age limit that is often two or more years older than the chronological age. Therefore, it is desirable, that wherever possible, appropriate standards should be devised for more accurate aging reflecting population specific profiles.