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Juvenile Age Estimation Using Diaphyseal Long Bone Lengths Among Ancient Maya Populations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Marie Elaine Danforth
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5074 (m.danforth@usm.edu)
Gabriel D. Wrobel
Affiliation:
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS 38677 (gwrobel@olemiss.edu)
Carl W. Armstrong
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, State University of New York, Plattsburgh, NY 12901 (carlwa@aol.com)
David Swanson
Affiliation:
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS 38677 (dswanson@olemiss.edu)

Abstract

Standards for diaphyseal lengths of the femur, humerus, and tibia that can be used in juvenile age estimation for the ancient Maya are presented. It is argued that these new standards are necessary given differences in stature and limb proportion in Mesoamerican groups compared to the prehistoric North American groups upon whom the current available standards have been developed. Using data from 96 juveniles in the protohistoric Maya series from Tipu, Belize, regression equations were developed to predict age of dental development using diaphyseal lengths; all had excellent fit and statistical significance. When the equations were tested with diaphyseal lengths from other Mesoamerican populations, the results were supportive of such application.

Se presentan los estándares de las longitudes de los diáfises del húmero, fémur, y tibia, las cuales serán usadas en la estimación de las edades juveniles en poblaciones mayas prehistóricas. Se propone que estos estándares nuevos son necesarios ya que los estándares empleados actualmente fueron desarollados en poblaciones norteamericanas y existen diferencias en estatura y las proporciones de los miembros entre estas poblaciones prehistóricas y las poblaciones prehistóricas Mayas. Usando datos de 75 jóvenes en la serie Maya protohistórica de Tipu, Belice, se produjeron ecuaciones de regresión para predecir la edad de desarrollo dental basada en las longitudes de los diáfises; todas tenían la bondad excelente de ajuste y la significación estadística. Cuando estas ecuaciones fueron comparadas con datos tomados de otras poblaciones mesoamericanas, las curvas parecen ser bastante coherentes.

Type
Part 1: Themed Section on Tehnology Approaches
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 by the Society for American Archaeology.

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