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Lecture 27 – Aging Skeletons

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Course Code
Anthropology 2235A/B
Eldon Molto

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Lecture 27 – Aging Skeletons  General Comments o 1. Age changes vary between and within populations o 2. Sex differences are the biggest intra-population variant o 3. Use different methods for aging sub-adults and adults o 4. All age estimates have a standard deviation which is larger the older the person o 5. If possible use as many methods but at certain ages some methods are much more accurate than others  Types of Methods o Osteometric analysis – measuring bones with calipers o Ossification (Ossif) – as skeletons development centers of ossification appear and grow and often unite in adulthood o Morphogenesis of certain regions – age changes in key regions like the sternal rib ends and face of the symphysis pubis o Histological changes in bone and teeth o The calcification and eruption of teeth o Degenerative changes in the skeleton and teeth (attrition etc)  Aging Sub-adults: Infants to 12 years o Ranking of methods  Dental calcification and eruption  Fusion of bones  Size and proportion of long bones  Concept of Primary and Secondary Centers of Ossification Using Long Bone Model o A. Cartilaginous model of a long bone o B. 1st primary centre in diaphysis o D. 1st secondary centre in distal epiphysis of this bone o E. 2nd secondary centre in proximal epiphysis o F. 2nd secondary centre fuses first o G. 1st secondary centre fuses last, ends growth of long bone  Generalizations about Secondary Centers of Ossification Events and Aging o 1. At birth generally the following secondary centres of ossification are present:  Head of humerus  Distal end of femur
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