Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-99c86f546-4k54s Total loading time: 0.347 Render date: 2021-12-07T13:42:46.503Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Discovering Childhood: Using Fingerprints to Find Children in the Archaeological Record

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Kathryn A. Kamp
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA 50112-0806
Nichole Timmerman
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA 50112-0806
Gregg Lind
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA 50112-0806
Jules Graybill
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA 50112-0806
Ian Natowsky
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA 50112-0806

Abstract

Experimental replications show that ridge breadth measurements from fingerprints on archaeological artifacts can be used to estimate the age of the individual who produced the prints. While the greatest amount of variability in human ridge breadth is due to the growth during development from birth to adulthood, there is also variability due to hand and body size, sex, and ethnicity. Despite these confounding variables, the variability due to age is great enough to allow the separation of children’s prints from those of adults using ridge breadths. The utility of this measurement is illustrated with a short case study using ceramic vessels and figurines from northern Arizona. This discovery has great potential for illuminating some of the roles that children played in prehistory.

Résumé

Résumé

Réplicas experimentales muestran que las medidas de los cordoncillos de huellas digitales en los restos arqueológicos sirven para estimar la edad del individuo que produjo las huellas. Mientras que la variación más amplia en los espacios de cordoncillos se deben al crecimiento durante el desarrollo entre el nacimiento y la edad adulta, hay variación también debida al tamaño de la mano y el cuerpo, al sexo, y a la etnicidad. A despecho de estas variaciones confusas, la variación por causa de la edad es tanta que se puede distinguir las huellas digitales de niños de las de adultos. La utilidad de la medida es ilustrada con una breve investigación usando vasos y estatuillas cerámicos del norte de Arizona. Este descubrimiento tiene potencial enorme para iluminar algunos de los roles que los niños tuvieron en la prehistoria.

Type
Reports
Copyright
Copyright © The Society for American Archaeology 1999

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Akins, N. J. 1986 A Biocultural Approach to Human Burials from Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. National Park Service, Santa Fe.Google Scholar
Bartlett, K. 1941 Skeletal Material from Winona and the Ridge Ruin. In Winona and Ridge Ruin, Part I: Architecture and Material Culture, edited by McGregor, J. C., pp. 300305. Bulletin 18. Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff.Google Scholar
Colton, H. S. 1955 Pottery Types of the Southwest. Series 3 A. Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff.Google Scholar
Colton, H. S. 1958 Pottery Types of the Southwest: Revised Descriptions of Alameda Brown, Prescott Gray, San Francisco Mountain Gray Wares, Wards 14, 15,16, 17,18. Ceramic Series 3D. Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff.Google Scholar
Cummins, H., Waits, W. J., and McQuitty, J. T. 1941 The Breadths of Epidermal Ridges of the Fingertips and Palm. American Journal of Anatomy 68: 127151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
David, T. J. 1981 Distribution, Age, and Sex Variation of the Mean Epidermal Ridge Breadth. Human Heredity 31: 279282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Genoves, S 1967 Proportionality of Long Bones and Their Relations to Stature Among Mesoamericans. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 26: 6778.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hecht, A.F. 1924 Uber das Hand- und Fussflachenrelief von Kindern. Zeitschrift fur die gesamte Experimentelle Medizin 39: 5666.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Holt, S. B. 1968 The Genetics of Dermal Ridges. Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, Illinois.Google ScholarPubMed
Jantz, R. L., and Parham, K. R. 1978 Racial Differences in Dermal Ridge Breadth. Human Biology 50 (1): 334.Google ScholarPubMed
Kamali, M. S. 1984 Mean Epidermal Ridge Breadth among the 12 Iranian Endogamous Groups. Indian Journal of Physical Anthropology and Human Genetics 10 (3 and 4): 150154.Google Scholar
Kamp, K., and Whittaker, J. 1999 Surviving Adversity: Life in an Elden Phase Sinagua Village. Anthropological Papers No. 120. University of Utah, Salt Lake City.Google Scholar
Katznelson, M., and Ashbel, S. 1973 Dermatoglyphics of Jews: Normal Ashkenazi Populations. Zeitschrift fiir Morphologie und Anthropologic 65: 1428.Google Scholar
Leguebe, A., and Vrydagh, S. 1982 Geographical Variability of Digital Ridge-counts: Univariate Comparison of Population Groups. Homo 33 (4): 183194.Google Scholar
Loesch, D., and Czyzewska, J. 1972 Ridge Breadth in the a-b Segment in the Hands of Children. Folia morphologica 31 (2): 226230.Google ScholarPubMed
Micle, S., and Kobyliansky, E. 1987 Dermatoglyphic Sexual Dimorphism in Yemenite Jews. Bulletins etMemoires de la Societe d'Anthropologic de Paris 4 (2): 95114.Google Scholar
Ohler, E.A., and Cummins, H. 1942 Sexual Differences in Breadth of Epidermal Ridges of Fingertips and Palms. American Journal ofPhysical Anthropology 29: 341362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Penrose, L.S. 1968 Memorandum on Dermatoglyphic Nomenclature. Birth Defects Original Article Series, vol. 4(3). The March of Dimes National Foundation, New York.Google Scholar
Penrose, L. S., and Loesch, D. 1967 A Study of Dermal Ridge Width in the Second (palmar) Interdigital Area with Special Reference to Aneuploid States. Journal of Mentally Defective Research 11: 36—42.Google ScholarPubMed
Schaefer, J. 1986 Decorated Ceramics and Unfired Clay Objects. In Archaeological Investigations at Antelope House, edited by Morris, D.P., pp. 398^431. National Park Service, Washington, D.C. Google Scholar
Trotter, M., and Gleser, G. 1958 A Re-evaluation of Estimation of Stature Based on Measurements of Stature Taken during Life and of Long Bones after Death. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 16: 79123.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
42
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Discovering Childhood: Using Fingerprints to Find Children in the Archaeological Record
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Discovering Childhood: Using Fingerprints to Find Children in the Archaeological Record
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Discovering Childhood: Using Fingerprints to Find Children in the Archaeological Record
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *