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HumanSkeleton 2010 - THE HUMAN SKELETON Can reveal basic...

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THE HUMAN SKELETON Can reveal basic information about the individual and about the population The first two things you want to know about any individual skeleton are: AGE and SEX
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Sexing a skeleton Depends on sexual dimorphism Not possible until secondary sexual characteristics develop, or until after puberty
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Sexing a skeleton MALES FEMALES Generally are more robust , larger, more heavily muscled The more muscle, the denser the bone and more prominent muscle attachments Generally are more gracile , smaller, less heavily muscled (Whitehead et al. 2005:255) Two adult mandibles from same Eskimo site, Greenland, Canada female male
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Male more robust Female more gracile
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(France 1998:90) Skull -- 2nd best area to use to determine sex of skeleton brow ridge (supraorbital ridge) chin mastoid process Male Female Brow ridges more prominent in males Chin is more square in males Female skull smaller, smoother, and more gracile Nuchal crest (a muscle attachment point) larger on males Mastoid processes larger in males nuchal crest
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chin square mastoid process larger in male nuchal crest larger in male (Bass 1987:82)
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Pelvis -- best area for determining sex Male Female pubis ilium sciatic notch (France 1998:90)
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Male Female Male pelvis narrower, female is broader (in female, ilia flare out more), resulting in: Female have longer pubic portion and subpubic angle is greater Sciatic notch wide in female, narrow in male
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Aging a skeleton Can get a pretty good age for young , but from about 25-30 years onward, estimation of age depends almost entirely on degenerative changes 1. Tooth eruption 2. Epiphyseal closure 3. Skull suture closure 4. Pubic symphasis roughness
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Age Estimation -- tooth eruption (Steele & Bramblett 1988:103) Cross-section of 6-year-old child’s mandible, showing developing but unerupted permanent teeth Humans have deciduous and permanent teeth that tend to erupt at known ages
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Deciduous teeth -- 20 of them erupt between 7-24 months of age; 2-6 years the roots ossify Permanent teeth erupt between 6-18 years of age;
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