Estimation of Age-at-Death Using Cortical Bone Histomorphometry of the Rib and Femur: A Validation Study on a British Population

Christina Karydi, Julieta Gómez García-Donas (Lead / Corresponding author), Konstantina Tsiminikaki, Andrea Bonicelli, Konstantinos Moraitis, Elena F. Kranioti

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Abstract

Histomorphometry constitutes a valuable tool for age estimation. Histological interpopulation variability has been shown to affect the accuracy of age estimation techniques and therefore validation studies are required to test the accuracy of the pre-existing methodologies. The present research constitutes a validation study of widely known histological methods on the sixth rib and the femoral midshaft of a 19th century British population originating from Blackburn, England. An evaluation of the histomorphometric features of eleven ribs and five femora was performed and used to test the accuracy of selected methods. Results indicated that osteon area and circularity were the only histomorphometric variables that presented significant interpopulation variability. Cho et al.’s method for the ribs and the average value produced using Kerley and Ubelaker’s method for intact osteon and percentage of lamellar bone equations for femur were considered the only reliable markers for estimating the age on the Blackburn sample. In the case of old individuals, Goliath et al.’s method provided more satisfactory results. Overall, the present study provides evidence on the applicability of the aging histomorphometric methods on a British sample and highlights the limitations of applying histomorphometric methods developed on different reference populations than the one under investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1615
Number of pages22
JournalBiology
Volume11
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2022

Keywords

  • age estimation
  • osteons
  • UK
  • histological methods
  • microscopy
  • bone remodelling
  • forensic anthropology
  • osteology

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