Essay on Histopathological Determination of Age in Archaeological Remains

Essay on Histopathological Determination of Age in Archaeological Remains

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Introduction
Estimating age at death has long and justly been viewed as a highly important aspect in various scientific fields of concern, including forensic pathology, archaeology or anthropology. The past decades have seen a rapid progress in all domains of science, including biology where molecular studies have become the centre of attention. However, even today, the classical histomorphometry methods are still widely used as a complementary analysis, whilst offering back-up to the molecular results in terms of determining the age of an individual. Such studies can, therefore, yield successful information and most likely accurate results when applied to both forensic subjects, in the form of modern day cadavers nd archaeological skeletal remains, dating from various historical periods alike.
Over the years, several studies have been conducted in this field, out of which the ones with the best results were those of Kerley, 1965 and Stout and Paine, 1992 best known for their equation used to determine the age of a subject based on the histology of the rib.
Researchers going back to the mid 1930’s have also speculated that there are particular changes within the microscopic structure of the midshaft of the femur that develop with age. Provided these changes could actually be used to determine the age at death of a subject they could be the basis of a very reliable and easy to apply method that might bring additional data concerning age determination. The reliability and feasibility of this method are given by the fact that very small pieces of bone would be needed and therefore eroded, aged and damaged bones might be used too (Amprino, Bairati, 1936; Jowsey 1960). The femur, humerus, clavicle or rib are usually used in this k...


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...Parfitt AM, 1994 Osteonal And Hemi-Osteonal Remodeling : The Spatial And Temporal Framework For Signal Traffic In Adult Human Bone. J Cell Biochem, 55 : 273-286
Pfeiffer S., Crowder C., Harrington L., Brown M., 2006, Secondary Osteon And Haversian Canal Dimensions As Behavioral Indicators, American Journal Of Physical Anthropology, 131 : 460-468
Robling AG, Stout SD, 2000, Histomorphometry Of Human Cortical Bone : Applications To Age Estimation. Biological Anthropology Of The Human Skeleton 187-213
Stout SD, Gehlert SJ, 1979, Histomorphological Identification Of Individuals Among Mixed Skeletons. Curr Anthropology, 20 : 803-805
Stout SD, Paine RR, 1992, Histological Age Estimation Using Rib And Clavicle. Am J Phys Anthropol, 87 : 111-115
Streeter M., A Four Stage Method Of Age At Death Estimation For Use In The Subadult Rib Cortex, 2010, J Forensic Sci, Vol.55, No.4

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