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Growth Dev Aging. 2008 Summer;71(1):23-33.

On the effect of cranial deformation in determining age from ectocranial suture closure.

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Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0513, USA.


Available techniques for determining age from human cranial remains are limited. This study examines the efficacy of Meindl and Lovejoy's (1985) method of determining age based on ectocranial suture closure patterns as compared to a baseline of ages developed from a multifactorial approach employing various age determining factors from across the skull. What makes this study different is that the sample upon which this comparison is performed contains a large number of artificially deformed crania. Our hypothesis is that aging techniques that rely on suture closure patterns as markers are complicated by the results of artificial modification of the cranial vault. The study is conducted on adult, human crania from prehispanic archaeological sites in South America. Results demonstrate a significant difference between the two aging methods, more particularly when applied to deformed skulls. We conclude that when a skull is deformed age should be estimated utilizing multiple factors that exclude Meindl and Lovejoy's ectocranial suture aging technique.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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