talad feb 10 - Archaeologist Looks at Death Bioarchaeology...

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Archaeologist Looks at Death 1/6/11 12:30 PM February 10, 2011 Bioarchaeology - Basic aging and sexing Aging - Determining the age of an individual from the skeleton o Dentition Your body is changing o Children have 300+ bones o Adults only have 206 bones o Bones fuse together ! Epiphyseal fusing o Bones grow at their long ends through growth plates (physes) o Ends of bones (epiphyses) fuse with main bone when growth at that location stops o Different bones fuse at different times ! Arches of vertebrae – fuse 1-3 years ! Centrum and arch of vertebrae – 3-7 years ! Proximal humerus – 20 years ! Proximal ulna – 17-18 years ! Distal tibia – 16 years o Pattern of epiphyses fusing can reveal age (up to about 25 years) o Last growth plate to fuse in body: around 25 years ! End of the clavicle (collar bone) o When fully fused, your growth starts Aging of adults is more difficult than aging of children o Suture closure, obliteration (cranium) ! Young adults – can clearly see where cranial sutures have fused !
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