• Age Estimation from the Auricular Surface of the Ilium: A Revised Method

      Buckberry, Jo; Chamberlain, A. (2002)
      A revised method for estimating adult age at death using the auricular surface of the ilium has been developed. It is based on the existing auricular surface aging method of Lovejoy et al. ([1985] Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 68:15-28), but the revised technique is easier to apply, and has low levels of inter- and intraobserver error. The new method records age-related stages for different features of the auricular surface, which are then combined to provide a composite score from which an estimate of age at death is obtained. Blind tests of the method were carried out on a known-age skeletal collection from Christ Church, Spitalfields, London. These tests showed that the dispersion of age at death for a given morphological stage was large, particularly after the first decade of adult life. Statistical analysis showed that the age-related changes in auricular surface are not significantly different for males and females. The scores from the revised method have a slightly higher correlation with age than do the Suchey-Brooks pubic symphysis stages. Considering the higher survival rates of the auricular surface compared with the pubic symphysis, this method promises to be useful for biological anthropology and forensic science.