Ferembach Et Al 1980_Recommendations for Age and Sex Diagnoses of Skeletons...
Recommendations for Age and Sex Diagnoses of Skeletons The following recommendations were drawn up by the “Workshop of European anthropologists” during a symposium dealing with age and sex diagnoses of skeletons in Prague in 1972 ; but they were, because of various difficulties, not dealt with concretely until 1977. By order of the commission, elected in Prague (Olivier, Paris; Schwidetzky, Mains; VlZek, Prague; Wiercinski, W’arsaw), they were formulated by D. Ferembach (Paris), I. Schwidetzky (Mains), and M. Stloukal (Prague), presented to the paleodemographic conference in Sarospatak (August 1978) and accepted there after discussion of some supplements and changes.*
1. Introduction The “recommendations”
serve two purposes : (1) to unify methods
to improve the basis for comparisons
studies, the methods which are utilized should be apparent; and sex determination
in paleodemography In paleodemographic
(in text or table
applied for age
would be useful, and it would serve to advance were
based on another
only occasionally. comprehensive
Only a few specialists
or on another
on the skeleton
being made to improve them. described
of sex and age determination
refer only to techniques
to those who study skeletal material
on this subject.
and efforts are constantly Only europids
set of variables
for sex and age diagnoses
offer a selection The methods
future research, if, in each case diagnoses in addition to those age and sex “recommendations”
prior to autumn
Thus, the recommendations
1978, and that in condensed
to do with age and sex
diagnosis of Paleolithic man also remain unstudied. Supplementary reports are planned for the future to summarize the most important new research findings. 2. Determination of Sex
of a skeleton
is a problem of concern to paleoanthropologists, The pelvic bones are the most important
followed by the skull, and long bones.
parts can be used as well, they are less important utilized
These attempt when
of sex determination for sex determination
to sex subadults dealing
but as additional
paleofor sex skeletal
increases. of the skeleton
the same criteria, populations
apply only to adults.
but this is more apt to be successful
can be well
* English translation of the German text by Mary Grlfin Praschma, Frankfurt am Main, and R. I. Sundick, Kalamazoo/Michigan. Journal qf Human Evolution ( 1980) 9, 5 17-549 0047-2484/8010705
17 + 36 802.00/O
1980 Academic Press Inc. (London) Limited
whose sex is known.
are still no studies on skeletal,
male bones are identifiable by their greater robusticity, but this is a question The sex classification of a bone is possible with a degree of certainty only
when it can be compared bone could be classified
to a series of known sexual dimorphism.
as male when the series to which it belonged
It is not possible
males and females applicable
to all series.
Recently, discriminant function analysis has been increasingly utilized for sex diagnosis. For the most part, the discriminant functions confirm the diagnosis on the grounds of classical criteria, but they also occasionally make possible sex determination of a questionIn any event, a discriminant function should be used only for bones related to
a series for which the function
has been developed.
the sexes of a completely
differentiate aborginals example
by Giles & Elliot and
Sulcus praeauricularis Incisura ischiadica major Angulus pubis
3 3 2
may correctly discriminant
or of Australian
We will see on the basis of the first
as well; e.g. certain
in their order
1964; Giles, 1966).
of the sex determining
(1963) f or europid and negroid
below how the formulae
Pelvis major Pelvis micor
deep, well delimited very wide, U-shaped strongly obtuse angled, rounded double low. broad, wit11 expanding ala ossis and slight muscles relief trianguiar, \vith sharp rim< vcrv narrolv with less conspicuous Tuber ischiadicum very flat, S-formed vvry low
differentiating Feminine (-
less deep delimited wide U-shaped Obtuse to rightanglrd, rounded curve less conspicuous female traits
only slightpresent V-shaped
transistory shape rightangled
single slight malt traits
of the pelvis Hypermasculine I+
absent narrow, very V-formed strongly acute angled, A-form curve high, narrow with stronger muscle relief
form not classificahlc
oval, rounded rim
very broad, marked tub. isch.
middle high, middle broad middle middle broad
narrow narrow heartshaped
accented S-form very high narrow very narroib very “PITO~~ heartshaped
DIAGNOSES OF SKELETONS
I. The Pelvis (0s coxae) The morphological characteristics are sufficient. Two indices are, however, of interest for sex determination and finally, discriminant functions have been developed. (u) Morphological Variables (Figure 1, Table 1)
In relation to the female pelvis, the male pelvis is higher, the pelvis major is less broad, the crista iliaca is bent more conspicuously in an S-form; the fossa iliaca is higher and less broad ; the foramen obturatum is oval (in the female triangular) ; the angulus pubis is narrow and A-formed (in the female broader and more rounded-off) ; the incisura ischiadica major is narrower, the OSischii lower; the corpus ossis ischii broader, the spina ischiadica is more levelled-off (more pointed in the female) ; the horizontal branch of the pubic bone (ramus superior ossis pubis) is, on the average, more prismatic in the male, Figure p&is.
Fossa il. i.
Crista il. Spina il. ant. sup. Socrum Acetabulum Fommen obtur. Facies symphys. lschion
Facies ouricu!. Sulcus praeourlc Inc. isch. major Arc compose
of the pelvis I. I,&:
Figure 2. Sex differences of the pelvis II. Above: (1) measurement for the calculation of the ischio-pubic index according to Novotny; (2) and (3) form of the foramen obturatum; (4) and (5) variations of the corpus ossis ischium and the spina ischiatica. Below: The measurements for the calculation of the cotylo-ischiatic index; (1) height of the inc. isch. major; (2j cotilo-ischiatic breadth (from Sauter & Privat, 1955).
in the female more roof-shaped. sulcus praeauricularis
The male pelvis has no or only a narrow
(it is deep and broad
in the female)
and a simple arc compose.
According to Novotny (1972), the sulcus praeauricularis alone permits correct sex determination in 80% of all cases, the shape of the incisura ischiadica major in 70%, the lower border of the pelvis (margo inferior ossis coxae) in 62%, the arc compose in 60%. In accordance
with the techniques
by AcsLdy & Nemesktri
divide each trait into five categories: (neutral)
l), indifferent the
ZWX. sexualization of a skeleton can be arrived at through the formula: A4 = In this, ZW 2 W represents the sum of the weights which are ascribed to the individual characters (table
1) ; 2 Wx the sum of the weights
+ 2) of the applied
by the sex coefficients
traits for a given skeleton.
(6) Indices (1) Cotylo-ischiatic (a)
of the incisura
the edge of the inferior
spina ischiadica quadrilateral
surface and the point of the
to the inferior border of the
The distal part of the coordinate caliper is arm of the coordinate caliper is placed at zero. This arm is surface,
arm of the caliper is then applied in such a way that the pointed
end touches the point where the crista of the Incisura border
to the edge of the border of the quadrilateral
of the quadrilateral
(Spina iliaca posterior inferior)
drawn out and the moveable applied
of the inc. isch. major
Cotylo-ischiatic ischiadica major
is crossed by the
of the facies auricularis. Cotylo-ischiatic
the inferior major.
(2) Ischio-puberal Point A is essential defined by various the following
of the acetabulum
caliper) : direct
The axis of the caliper has to be parallel index:
of the Incisura
to the surface of the bone.
Length of the OS pubis x 100 Length of the os ischion .
in the determination authors
and the anterior
of the ischion
and pubic length.
ways in the past.
Figure 3. Sex differentiating morphological characters of the skull. (a) Development of the glabella, (b) development of the inion (Brocai.
It has been recommends
(a) Length of the OSid&n: the distance between points B and IS M; B is the crossing point between the axis of the ramus superior ossis ischii (axis of ischion) with the middle of the tuber ischiadicum; IS M is that point of the rim of the acetabulum most removed from B. (b) Length of the ospubi~: the distance between point C and Pu MC. C: Middle of the most exterior end of the facies symphysios; PuM is the point of the rim of the acetabulum lying nearest to C. From a sample of 109 male and 115 female pelves from the Anatomical Institutes of Prague and Brno, 86% of the individuals had been classified correctly by this index only. Acsidy & NemeskQi (1970, p. 91) propose the following preliminary classification: hyperfeminine 115- 106, feminine 105-96, indifferent 95-90, masculine 89-80, hypermasculine 79-70. Schultz (1930) and Washburn (1948) measure from point A. This point A lies closest to the synostosis of the growth cartilage, where the inner rim of the facies lunata crosses a line which elongates the lower part of the acetabular rim of the OSilium in a downward direction. It is less definitely ascertainable than those points proposed by Novotny (1975), but is overwhelmingly applied to pelvic measurements in American papers. (c) Discriminant Functions On the base of the materials discriminant functions.
correctly classified individuals
M 109 F 115
+ 43.9 -- 46.0
x 5.469 -
M 109 F 115
+ 15.0 - 14.9
x 4.752 -
M 109 F 115
- 29.9 + 30.0
(IS-M) x 7.178 - (PU-M) x 4.789 (D-F) x 4.262 - IIMT x 0.778
M 108 F 115
+ 29.9 ----28.9
x 7.600 -
(IS-A) x 7.735 (D-F) x 6.283
(IS-M) x 7.060 (D-F) x 4.687
IS-M: Ischion length, technique of Novotny (1975). IS-A: Ischion length, technique of Washburn (1948). PU-M: Pubis length, technique of Novotny (1975). PU-A: Pubis length, technique of Washburn (1948). For the definition of these measurements see above. IIMT: Height of the incisura ischiadica major according to Sautrr & Privat (1955) (see above and Figure 2). DF: To take this measurement at first the breadth of the incisura ischiadica major has to be determined. It is the distance between the tuberculum musculi piriformis or, if it is not developed, a corresponding point (point where the superior border of the incisura ischiadica major crosses the extreme border of the facies articularis) and the root of the spina ischiadica (Genoves, 1959). DF is the distance between the tuberculum musculi piriformis and the base of the perpendicular line which is drawn from the most inferior point of the incisura ischiadica major on the breadth.
In order to determine
the sex of a bone, one inserts its measurements
carries out the calculations
in the above formula,
and compares the final value with the sectioning point on hand.
In the case of the first function, for example, a value of under 46 would correspond to a female individual. Further discriminant analyses for pelvic measurements are given by Day (1975),
( 1964), and others.
II. The Skull
(a) Morphological Characters (Figure 3, Table 2) Dealt with here are essentially traits of robustness which permit differentiation male
take into account
of the series or type to which the individual
2 compiles the main characteristics
the less crucial
for a sex diagnosis.
In order to determine
traits the following might be mentioned:
point of the processus mastoideus, (Hoshi, Table
the form of the dental
in the male,
slightly arched traces of nuchal lines
Nuchal lines and occipital crest evident
Nuchal lines and occipital crest marked
very thin and low smooth
delimited, marked moderatr
superciliaris Tubera frontalia and parietalia Protuber. occ. ext. Schema Broca OS zygomaticum
slightly, delimited rnrdium hardly
Nuchal lines and occipital crest with rough surface very thick, high very marked arched missing very marked
transistory form, medium
high, irregular surface medium inclined quadrangular rounded
very high, irregular surface strongly inclined quadrangular very rounded
gracile small slight eminences
medium medium moderate eminences
robust prominent marked eminences
very robust very prominent strongly marked eminences thick
smooth surface vertical
round very sharp border
round sharp border
Total aspect Mentum Angulus mandibulae
3 2 1
very gracile small, rounded smooth
medium, irregular surface little inclined
Inclinatio frontale Forma orb.
(4-5) very large
Processus mastoideus Relief of the l’lanum nuchalr
for sex determination
as with the
in the male and pointed inward in the female
the degree of femaleness or maleness of a skull, one applies the same standards pelvis. Among
elliptical in the female (Vlcek, 1972) ; the ramus of the mandible, in the male broader with heavier corpus mandibulae; the sutura supramastoidea is more frequent in males. (6) Metrics In the following, those measurements will be mentioned which were selected for discriminant functions and for factor analysis (Clement et al., 1974). Only the measurements themselves will be considered, since they have higher discriminant value than the indices. The measurements will be listed in order of their importance. In parentheses are the numbers of the measurements according to Martin-Sailer (1957) or to the authors who have defined them.
(9 Neurocranium 1. Maximum length (1) and maximum breadth (8) ; nasion-basion length (5), basionbregma height (17) ; minimal frontal breadth (9) ; maximal frontal breadth (10) ; height of the processus mastoideus (Giles & Elliot, 1964; Demoulin, 1972); see Figure 4. 2. Cranial capacity. Figure 4. The measurement of the height of the processus mastoideus (Giles & Elliot, 1963).
1. Bijugal breadth (45-l) ; malar height (48.4) ; maxillo-alveolar-breadth (61). 2. Bizygomatic breadth (45) ; total facial height (47) ; upper facial height (48) ; basionprosthion length (40). (iii) Mandible 1. Symphysial height (69) ; real thickness of the corpus mandibulae between M, and M, (Piquet, 1956). 2. Bigonial breadth (66) ; length of the mandible (68-l); breadth of the ramus (70). (c) Discriminant Functions In applying the method, compare the introduction and the chapter on the pelvis. Giles & Elliot (1963) as well as Giles (1966, 1968) used a sample of 75 male and 75 female
skulls of white Americans percentage
from the Terry
1, for which
is as follows: -
+ ( 17
basion-bregma height) x 5.786 + (45 bizygomatic breadth) x 14.821 + (40 basionprosthion length) x 1.000 + (48 nasion-prosthion line) x 2.714 - (61 maxillo-alveolar breadth)
of the processus mastoideus
point lies at 2.676,39,
4) x 6.071.
the average for the male skull at 2.779,66,
the female skull at 2.573,12. Other
series : Finnish French
quote the first of the functions (69
bigonial height) The sectioning
on the basis of different
1966)) Belgian skulls (Defrise-Gussenhoven, 1966)) Nordic skulls (Henke, 1971). For the mandibles we
by Giles (1964)
1.000. point lies at 287.43,
for the above mentioned
for the male at 302.25,
and for the
female at 272760.
III. Teeth In general,
show the greatest differences 1978). between
useful for sex diagnosis. (1978)
and Ditch 68%
& Rose (1972)
of the children
of male and female measurements.
be based on teeth.
there are also population
males and females than the mesio-distal
the only factor classified
in size due to sex dimorphism
there is a broad overlapping really
sex diagnosis teeth represent
above are the same as
IV. The Long Bones In general, particular
bones are shorter
that have proved themselves (in parentheses:
Humerus : Maximum
and have a slighter
for the metric
in discriminant according
function to Martin)
of the distal epiphysis
of the deltoid tuberosity.
(R 1). of the shaft (R 4).
Distal condylar breadth (R 5/6). Development of the radial tuberosity. Ulna :
Maximum length (U 1). Proximal ulnar breadth (U 6/l). Development of the ulnar tuberosity
analysis are included
(H 1) .
diameter at midshaft (H 5). transverse diameter of the Caput
Development Radius :
to be valuable
of the measurements
traits are noteworthy:
and of the margo interossea.
head (F 19).
of the Linea
of the femoral
(T 4). Bicondylar
of the shaft at the level of the tuberosity
of the tibia1 tuberosity.
Again no boundary between male and female values can be given which would apply The largest diameter of the femur head of Portugese men has a value, for
to all series. example,
1949) ; for North American Schull,
and for Portugese
1957, cf. also Genoves,
offers a formula
were established of known
for sex diagnosis.
sex and Steel
radius, ulna, femur, and tibia based on British materials
in his materials,
For the long bones a series of discriminant Pons (1955)
Negroes this value is 5 7-l 7 and 4 l-52 respectively
(cf. also Henke,
sex is not known).
V. The Remaining
Bones of the Postcranial
Since the remaining
bones are of lesser significance,
they will be mentioned
(a ) Shoulder Region 1. Scapula. Because of the great degree of overlapping between males and female in different populations, sex determination based on measurements of this bone should be considered
of the cavitas glenoidalis spine
to be considered
include the length and breadth
12 and 13), the overall height
(1) and the length of the
maximal diaphysis permits
(6) (Olivier, a reliable
to the clavicle: the best differentiating characteristics are the breadth (5), and the circumference at mid-shaft of the 1955). According to Jit & Singh (1956), however, no measurement
(b) Sternum. According
values renders the determination significantly
of a boundary
(1971) the great range of individual
men and women
in the bones which
the means are
they had at their
disposal. (c) Vertebrae. atlas. other
Studies on sex differences were done on the epistropheus (axis) and the In comparison to females, the male atlas is more robust (this applies as well to all
of the lumbar
are more pronounced, the anterior-posterior and transverse diameters, and in fact the external as well as the internal diameters are also higher (Hinck et al., 1962; Iordanidis, 1961). Unfortunately it is just as difficult to determine boundaries for these bones as it is with the sternum. The dimensions of the epistropheus (Iordanidis, 1961) appear to be still less differentiated. (d) Sacrum. Since the characteristics which had been described as male cannot be
agreed upon (larger
over more than two vertebrae) The length-breadth is smaller
one can correctly
they are not recommended length
in men than in women
of the auricular
of the bones (Stradalovi,
According to Mann & Brend (in Iordanidis, 1961) the averages are 112.4 and 116.0 (the standard deviation is not published). As the differences seem to be small we may conclude absolute (e)
Talus and CaZcarzms. Steele
from the Terry
could be correctly
VI. Chemical From
to sex determination
the onset of puberty
to the beginning
of the female skeleton seems to be higher than in male skeletons(Lengyel,l969; 1974).
In a 10th century
series studied by Ery (1971)
sex was the same in 91 o/oof the adults (cf. also Lengyel
and the & Farkas,
1972). The absolute level of citrate content depends, however, on the age and preservation of the bones, More studies are therefore needed to check the reliability of the method. If it will be verified, the chemical method has the advantage that it can be utilized to determine the sex of smaller fragments, and the sex of non-adult individuals, too, where no characteristics
for a morphological
3. Age Diagnosis The
used in age diagnosis juveniles,
must first be tested on individuals populations.
for the various
In each case the age variability whose age is known.
are ethnic and diachronic
of the characteristics
For this we must rely on recent in the tempo of the ontogenetic
development (Eveleth & Tanner, 1976; Legoux, 1966)) in particular, the acceleration of It is therefore preferable, to select reference populagrowth due to improved nutrition. tions not studied in recent years, but rather the oldest populations, which have been adequately studied. On the basis of studies of recent populations (age of development) biological
can be determined. Until
is no means
One cannot, therefore, determine discrepancies between them. tempo of maturation and aging processes in different populations. a strong individual
stages of biological
we assign chronological
in age changes in the skeleton.
the differences Moreover,
ages to given the in the
Because of this, it will never
be possible to determine with exact certainty the age at death in skeletons as can be done The age diagnosis for an individual must in recent populations from written documents. always be given with the estimated range of variability. In certain cases this can be exceeded, but certainly, this will not always occur. Through systematic errors the total population could seem to be younger or older than it really is (Masset, 1971). Current analyses based on the same methods studies try to eliminate such mistakes. Demographic
Figure 5. (a) Development of the teeth I. teeth II (Ubelaker, 1978).
(b) Development of the
Months In utero (f2 months)
2 Years (* B months)
3 years (f I2 months)
Birth (* 2 months)
6 Months (f3 months)
::,, :::.:. :.:. :.:::. ..: ~~~~ bq oe [email protected]
.:::.::,::: ;.::.i::. .,.,., :,:: :j:
4 Years (*I2 months)
5 Years (* 16 months)
I6 Months (f 6 months)
6 Years (* 24 months)
? Y6WS (*
12 Years (* 30 months)
9 Year5 (224 months)
9 Years (2 24 months)
IO Years (* 30 months)
(and perhaps have the same systematic error) are comparable; this means that they correctly comprehend [email protected]
of the age structure of the deceased in different population samples. 1. Age Diagnosis in Children Ufi to 14 Years
For the age diagnosis of children, the dental development is, by far, the most important factor. An age determined from calcification of individual teeth is more reliable than one determined by tooth eruption. For an age diagnosis after calcification we recommend the scheme of Ubelaker, 1978; Figure 5(a), (b). It considers the results of many studies and rests on several thousands of individuals. Till now the very similar scheme of Schour & Massler (1944) had been used predominantly, but it was based on a small number of individuals. The range of variability given in Figure 5(a), (b) concerns the total state of the teeth. If only the calcification is considered, and those teeth whose development is particularly variable (canine and 3rd molar) are not included, the range of variability is much smaller. The following developmental stages must be considered: first, the tooth crown beginning with the occlusal surface appears, followed by the neck and root; the walls of the roots diverge at first in a downward direction; later the final root form develops; lastly, the tooth root closes. This applies for the deciduous teeth as well as for the permanent teeth. The determination of age on the basis of teeth is more reliable and more delineated for younger than for older children. From about 12 years of age on, ossification (Figure 6) should be taken into account to increase the reliability of age diagnosis. X-rays are necessary in order to determine the stage of development of all teeth in both jaws. In the case of individual age diagnosis, the estimated range of variability from the tables can be presented. These are to be omitted in paleodemographic analysis. When individual teeth are available, it is not necessary as a matter of practice to X-ray the jaw. In exceptional cases, e.g. when no other material is available, the age can be estimated with some degree of reliability on the basis of an individual tooth which is not completely developed. Tooth eruption should be considered for age determination after tooth caIcification; however, there is some degree of variability in tooth eruption, and the order of eruption was different in prehistoric and medieval times than it is today. The scheme of Ubelaker (1978) should be used for the determination of tooth eruption. [Figure 5(a), (b)]. If neither jaws nor teeth are present, one must attempt to determine the age of children from the ossification of the skull and postcranial skeleton. This is not as precise, and one must therefore be content with larger age categories. Above all, the following traits are to be considered (cf. Gray, 1967; Olivier, 1973; Rauber-Kopsch, 1952; Wolff-Heidegger, 1954) : a. In the course of the first three months of life the posterior fontanelle and the anterior side fontanelles close; b. As a rule, the ala magna and the OSsphenoidale fuse together before the age of nine months; c. In the first year the posterior side fontanelles close and the two halves of the mandible grow together; d. In the course of the first two years the anterior fontanelle and the frontal suture close (in exceptional cases the suture remains open during adulthood (this is called metopic suture) and both halves of the vertebral arches grow together;
Figure 6. The times of epiphyseal union (Brothwell, 1965; WolffHeidegger, 1954; Raubrr & Kopsch, 1952; Haret et al., 1927; Gray’s Anatomy 1967).
e. By the end of the third year usually the pars lateralis occipitale grow together; In the fourth years of life the vertebral
Up until the end of the sixth year the fissure between
of age can also be determined
arches grow together with the vertebral body;
lateralis of the occipital bone closes; simultaneously, hip bone fuse together at the ischio-pubic ramus. Indications
and the pars basalis of the OS
and the pars
the pubic and the ischial part of the
6. from the size and the stage of development
of the postcranial skeleton. In this case one should not insist on an exact age determination, but rather work with broader age classes of approximately five years. The maximum
length of the diaphyses from comparison Table
of the long bones can be measured
88-l 97.9 108-6 117-5 124.9 133.5 142.7 152.4 163.8 174.8 184.6 194.3 203.9 211.9 219.9 231.2 240.8
and an age assigned to them
6 months 12 months 18 months 24 months 30 months 3 years 4 years 5 years G years 7 years 8 years 9 years 10 years 11 years 12 years 13 years 14 years
OF EUROPEAN ANTHROPOLOGISTS
178-971 /89-1061 j98-1181 /106-129/ /113-138/ /120-147/ /128-1591 /136-170/ /147-l8l/ /157-1921 /169-201/ /178-2101 /186-218/ /196-2241 /202-2341 12 1 l-247/ 1220-2571
69.7 76.8 84.1 89.8 95.1 101.6 108.3 116.0 125.1 133.5 141.9 149.2 156.9 163.3 168.8 175.7 182.5
of long bones
163-751 168-851 /75-901 /80-961 /86-103/ /93-l lo/ /98-120/ /105-130/ /I l4-1401 /121-1521 /130-1601 /139-163/ /149-168/ /156-175/ /160-I 791 /165-188/ / 166-200/
108.1 122.0 137.5 149.6 160.9 174.1 188.3 203.2 221.1 238.1 253.0 266.5 281.2 292.5 302.9 319.0 333.3
195-1221 /109-1351 /122-1521 /135-1661 /143-1821 /156-196/ /169-2131 /183-230/ /198-246/ 1214-2631 1228-2781 /241-2901 /254-3051 1265-3231 /279-3371 1286-3581 1296-3821
88.8 99.2 111.4 121.1 131.7 142.2 151.9 164.1 177.1 188.9 202.0 213.6 224.3 235.1 244.4 256.1 269.8
184-931 193-l 051 /102-120/ /109-131/ /117-144/ /127-1561 /136-171/ /146-184/ /158-2011 /168-216/ /180-227/ /191-2351 1202-2461 /212-2591 12 18-2681 1227-2831 /235-301/
Table 3 (Stloukal & HanLkovL, 1978) is based on an old Slavic population with an average body height of 171 cm for men and 161 cm for women. The sex of the children was not taken into account. Dealt with here are corrected means since the number of individuals is, in part, very small. Similar tables are available from Sundick (1978) for a southern German population of the early Middle Age. 2. Age Determination
After the fourteenth for non-adults. union
of Adolescents year of life, dental development
The most important
of the long bones;
offers little further indication
for age determination
of the pelvis, scapula,
is now the epiphyseal sternum,
phalanges can be indicators (Figure 6). The volumes of Pyle & Hoerr (1955) for the ossification of hand bones and Greulich & Pyle (1959) offer X-rays of the developmental stages of ossification (see also Flecker, approximately
but are of lesser value for the determination 1942;
one to two years after ossification.
of age on the skeleton lines are noticible
These point to the transition
adult age. On the skull the basisphenoid synchondrosis (ossification of the suture between the OS sphaenoidale and the basal part of the OS occipitale) shows the border between non-adult and adult. If no long bones are present, the stage of development of the third molar can give a rough idea. It is, however, especially variable and sometimes it is not developed at all.
If the third molar
surface of the other molars, 3. Age Diagnosis
and if it has reached
this suggests adult age (Demisch
the occlusal 1956).
The reliability of an age determination of the skeleton. If it is well preserved
of adults is largely dependent on the preservation the “complex method” of Nemeskeri, Harsiny &
Plate 1. Harsanyi
Phases of the relief & Acsadi, 1960).
Plate 2. Phases of the spongiosa structure of the femur head (Nemeskkri, Harsanyi & Acsadi, 1960).
Plate 3. Phases of the spongiosa structure of the humerus head (Nemesktri, Harsanyi & Acsadi, 1960).
there are some reservations
its use in
(1977) found in a Portuguese
no sex differences in the development of the spongiosa structure of the femur head, but significant differences in the humerus head] ; the influence of births on age changes of the pubic symphysis
1970; in the
1975) ; as well as differences process
Prof. Dr Nemeskeri,
6 phases). should
well-preserved, of the head. of the suture
for older women;
It is recommended (4) The
of the humerus head (Plate 3,
levels in question)
of the endocranial for
the results obtained
(2) the spongiosa
1, 5 phases).
by casts (attain-
the heads of the long bones can be sawed open, exactly
used by butchers.
of the facies by birth this characteristic
phases) ; (3) the spongiosa
of the changes
only for men ; if it is utilized women
femur head (Plate 2,6
is the best one.
(1) The relief of the facies symphaseos
The upper surface must be well preserved. V/Hungary).
are used, and for each of them, several phases of the aging
have been described.
If the bones are in the mid-plane
the kind of bone saw
skull sutures. of the coronal,
A coefficient sagittal
Figure 7. The obliteration of the skull sutures. Left: the 14 sections of the sutures; right: the degree of obliteration according to Broca.
lambdoidal sutures [Figure 7(a)]; the degree of obliteration is determined according to Broca’s scheme [Figure 7(b)], and then the mean value is calculated from the individual figures. If the skull is completely intact, the endocranial sutures may be illuminated through the foramen magnum by a small flashlight. The mean values of the degree of obliteration are classified in five phases. Mean values
o-1.5 1.6-2.5 2.6-2.9 3.0-3.9 4.0
I II III IV V
If the stages of development of the four characteristics have been determined, the age can be arrived at according to the tables of Sjovold (1976) (Appendix). They take into consideration all combinations of characters and phases, the variability of age changes, and the practical calculation rules of Nemesktri. For single individuals, the estimated range of variability given in the tables are to be used. For paleodemographic analyses, the classification into 5-year-groups is recommended. The determination of the ossification coefficients of the sutures according to Nemeskeri requires good preservation of the coronal, sagittal and lambdoidal sutures. If only small parts of the sutures are preserved, the scheme of Vallois (1937) which relies on ectocranial sutures must be used. A large range of variability can be expected in the determination of an individual age-at-death (Necrasov et al., 1966) and the estimated figures are too low for the upper age categories, especially over 60 years (Masset, 1971). With great caution a series of additional characteristics can be considered in age diagnosis, e.g. degenerative characteristics and age-related diseases. (1) For young adults the ossification may yield additional information (Figure 6), e.g. the Epiphysis sternalis of the clavicula (Bass, 1970; Szilvassy, 1977) the distal epiphyses of radius and ulna and the Epiphysis marginalis of the OS ilium close rather late. The ossification of the thyroid cartilage of the larynx (which seldom is preserved, however) continues even to the age of maturity (Leopold & von Jagow, 1960; Schott, 1961; applicable only to males). (2) The abrasion of teeth, in particular the molars. Miles (1963) presents a scheme with age categories for an Anglo Saxon population. A very large variability, e.g. on the basis of the type of nutrition and the individual tooth constitution, can be expected. If the sample is large enough the correlation between age and abrasion should be estimated within the population and used for age determination (see Maples, 1977). (3) Spondylytic changes of the vertebrae; Stloukal, Vyhndnek & Rijsing (1970) categorize spondylytic changes into four classes and give mean values for a series of medieval populations by age and sex. (4) Arthritic changes of the large joints; classification, frequency distribution and class means for an old Slavic population are given by Stloukal & Vyhnanek (1975). (5) Gustafson (1966) describes a method for more exact age determination of adolescents and adults on the basis of their teeth [modification of the method in light of their applicability to prehistoric dental material by VlEec & Mrklas (1975) ; see also Johannson
DIAGNOSES OF SKELETONS
(197 l)]. This requires, however, a tooth section, and is thus time-consuming and expensive. Therefore it cannot be applied to large populations, but rather to age diagnosis and identification of individuals, e.g. historically important persons. (6) For the time being, the same is true for histological studies, in which, e.g. the number of osteons and of the non-Harversian canals are examined for age diagnosis (Kerley, 1970). For this, thin sections must be made and examined microscopically; with oft-brittle prehistoric material the bones in question must be imbedded and then prepared for section [a relatively simple technique is described by Ubelaker (1974) ; see also Bouvier & Ubelaker (1977), Ubelaker (1978)]. The method has the advantage of dealing with quantitative characteristics which vary, however, and cannot always be determined correctly. But age diagnosis rests on counting and measurement for which personal errors play less of a role than in the classification by given schemes. The correlations with chronological age should be checked in additional skeletal materials. (7) Chemical studies of bones have shown a series of changes due to age : the phosphorus, calcium, and collagen content in the spongiosa of the vertebral bodies declines while the carbonate content increases (Lengyel, 1968, 1972). Metabolic disorders can influence individual values dramatically. Since a large individual variability also exists, all applicable characters should be studied, just as with morphological traits. Just as with sex diagnosis, the chemical method can render results when a morphological age diagnosis However, more studies on the correlation is not feasible because of bad preservation. between morphologically and chemically-determined ages-at-death should be performed, and standard techniques have to be described. The “Recommendations” anthropologists :
have been accepted
and signed by the following physical
S. Borgognini-Tarli, Pisa (Italy) ; G. Gesnys, Vilnius (USSR) ; B. Chiarelli, Florence (Italy); C. Corrain, Padua (Italy) ; V. Correnti, Rome (Italy); D. Ferembach, Paris (France) ; M.-D. Garralda, Madrid (Spain) ; N. Gejvall, Solna (Sweden) ; J. GladykowskaRzeczycka, Bialystok (Poland) ; W. Henke, Mainz (BRD); J. Jargensen, Copenhagen (Denmark) ; B. Kaufmann, Base1 (Switzerland) ; R. Knussmann, Hamburg (BRD) ; P. Liptlk, Szeged (Hungary); A. Mann, Philadelphia (USA) ; 5. Mikik, Sarajevo (Jugoslavia) ; B. Miszkiewicz, Wroclaw (Poland) ; 0. Necrasov, Jasi (Romania) ; J. Nemesktri, Budapest (Hungary) ; G. Olivier, Paris (France) ; D. K. Patterson, Ontario (Canada) ; G. Pilarit, Zagreb (Jugoslavia) ; R. Riquet, Bordeaux (France) ; F. W. Rijsing, Ulm (BRD); U. Schott, Berlin (DDR); I. Schwidetzky, Mainz (BRD); M.-A. Sauter, Geneva (Switzerland) ; T. [email protected]
, Solna (Sweden) ; M. Stefancic, Ljubljana (Jugoslavia) ; M. Stloukal, Prague (Czechoslovakia) ; J. SzilvPssy, Vienna (Austria) ; H. Ullrich, Berlin (Poland) ; (DDR) ; A. Wiercihska, Warsaw (Poland) ; A. Wierci-nski, Warsaw N. Xirotiris, Athens (Greece); G. Ziegelmayer, Munich (BRD). References
Determination of Sex AcsPdi, G. & NemeskCri, J. (1970). History of Human Lif Span and Mortality, pp. 346. Budapest. Black, Th. K. (1978). Sexua.l dimorphism in the tooth-crown diameters of the deciduous teeth. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 48, 77-82. ” Borovansky, L. (1936). Differences sexuelles chez les crPnes humains. N&ad. Ceskd Akad. vbd urn, pp. 115, tschech., engl. summary. Boulinier, G. (1968). La dktermination du sexe des crgnes humains I l’aide des fonctions discriminantes. Bulletins et Mkmoires de la SociU d’iinthropologie de Paris 3, XIIe str., 301-316.
Me’mnires de la So&&! d’Anlhro)ologie de Broca, P. (1875). Instructions craniologiques et craniomtitriques. Paris II, 2&e str. Lcs alpins de Catal Hiiyiik Clement, F. M., Dabaghian, E., Fcrembach, D. & Jouannrau, J. F. (1974). (Ntolithique, Turquie). Application d’unc analyse en composante principal? normbe h la ddfinition de leur origine. Biom&rie Hum. 9, 53-69. Day, M. H. 6r Pitcher-Wiimot, R. W. (1975). Sexual dil%rentiation in the innominate bone studied by multivariate analysis. Annals of Human Biology 2, 143- 15 1. Defrise-Gussenhoven, E. (1966). A masculinity-feminity scale based on a discriminant function. hta Chc6ica 16, 198-208. Demoulin, F. (1972). Importance de certaines mesurcs crini