alexa Auricular surface aging: a blind test of the revised method on historic Italians from Sardinia.
Social & Political Sciences

Social & Political Sciences


Author(s): Hens SM, Belcastro MG

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Abstract Age determination from human skeletal remains is an important biological parameter in both forensic and bioarchaeological contexts. This study presents the results of a blind test of the revised auricular surface age estimation method proposed by Buckberry and Chamberlain (Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 119 (2002) 321-329) on a large sample (n=404) of known sex and age from the Sassari collection, housed at the Museum of Anthropology, University of Bologna, Italy. Ilia were scored for five features: transverse organization, surface texture, microporosity, macroporosity, and apical changes, which combined for a composite score. The results indicated that all features and the composite score were positively correlated with known age. Composite scores were significantly different between the sexes, suggesting that males and females should be treated separately. Bias and inaccuracy varied across age intervals. Age tended to be overestimated in individuals under age 59 and underestimated for those over age 60 years. However, the revised method showed improvement over the original auricular surface method (Lovejoy et al., Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 68 (1985) 15-28), especially for aging older individuals. Considerable variation exists in the age ranges derived from composite scores and few significant differences were found between age stages, suggesting that fewer stages with wider age ranges may be necessary. The independent, quantitative scoring of the surface features makes the revised method substantially easier to apply and the method shows significant improvement for aging older individuals. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved. This article was published in Forensic Sci Int and referenced in Anthropology

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