Journal Article

Population variation in osteological aging criteria: an example from the pubic symphysis

Hoppa, R. D.

American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 111:2, 185-191 (2000)


A fundamental assumption made by skeletal biologists is that both the pattern and rate of age-related morphological changes observed in modern reference populations are not significantly different than in past populations. In this brief exploration, the composition of a single reference and two independent, known-age, target samples are evaluated for the pubic symphysis. Differences in the timing of age-progressive changes between the reference and target samples are observed, and in particular, females demonstrated a pattern that was fundamentally different from the reference sample. These results serve as a cautionary note for the use of osteological aging criteria and issues of representativeness for modern standards. (© 2000 WILEY-LISS, INC.)