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Mandibular Morphology as an Indicator of Human Subadult Age: Interlandmark Approaches

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 52 Issue: 5 Dated: September 2007 Pages: 1015-1019
Daniel Franklin Ph.D.; Andrea Cardini Ph.D.
Date Published
September 2007
5 pages
This study examined whether the height of the back portion of the lower jaw ("ramus") is an accurate marker for estimating age at death, using a sample of 79 subadults (ages 1-17) of South-African Bantu and African-American origin of known age and sex.
The results show that ramus height can be used to predict age in the subadult skeleton with accuracy that approaches predictions based on dentition (the number and kind of teeth and their arrangement in the mouth). These new measurements are quick and simple to perform. The applicability of these measurements in other populations requires additional research. The authors are currently involved in such research with a range of populations. The linear measurements used in the study were obtained from a dataset of 38 variables recorded in 3-dimensions using a Microscribe G2X portable digitizer running Inscribe-32 software. The measurement of ramus height was obtained with a mathematical conversion of the three-dimensional landmark coordinates (condylion superior, the most superior point on the mandibular condyle; and gonion, the most lateral external point of junction of the horizontal and ascending rami of the lower jaw). A series of regression analyses were then performed in order to predict age by using the measurement of ramus height. 4 tables, 2 figures, and 48 references


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