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New Formulae for Estimating Age-at-Death in the Balkans Utilizing Lamendin’s Dental Technique and Bayesian Analysis

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The present study analyzed apical translucency and periodontal recession on single-rooted teeth in order to generate age-at-death estimations using two inverse calibration methods and one Bayesian method. The three age estimates were compared to highlight inherent problems with the inverse calibration methods. The results showed that the Bayesian analysis reduced severity of several problems associated with adult skeletal age-at-death estimations. The Bayesian estimates produced a lower overall mean error, a higher correlation with actual age, reduced aging bias, reduced age mimicry, and reduced the age ranges associated with the most probable age as compared to the inverse calibration methods for this sample. This research concluded that periodontal recession cannot be used as a univariate age indicator, due to its low correlation with chronological age. Apical translucency yielded a high correlation with chronological age and was concluded to be an important age indicator. The Bayesian approach offered the most appropriate statistical analysis for the estimation of age-at-death with the current sample.

Keywords: Bayes’ theorem; Lamendin; age-at-death; forensic anthropology; forensic science; metric dental aging; translucency

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command—Central Identification Laboratory (JPAC-CIL), 310 Worchester Ave, Building 45, Hickam AFB, HI 96853. 2: Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois, 109 Davenport Hall, 607 South Matthews Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801.

Publication date: May 1, 2008

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