Megan Lagrou

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Tal Simmons

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Anemone

Third Advisor

Dr. Maria Smith

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


As forensic anthropologists are increasingly becoming involved in human rights work abroad, it is critical to evaluate the applicability of the established US.derived age estimation standards to other populations. This research examines the impact that population variation has on the accuracy of several skeletal age indicators, specifically, the rate of medial clavicular epiphyseal fusion (Webb and Suchey 1985), and the progression of morphological change of the sternal rib end (Iscan, et al. 1984b; 1985), and the pubic symphysis (Brooks and Suchey 1990).

Previous research by Simmons, et al. ( 1999) demonstrated that a Bosnian sample displayed a pattern of morphological change different from that typically seen in U.S. skeletal populations. Therefore, Simmons (1999) presented revised age range estimates to correlate with the established age estimation systems mentioned above.

This study statistically evaluates the inaccuracy and bias (Lovejoy, et al. 1985a) of the U.S. and Bosnian-derived age ranges when used to age both a U.S. and Bosnian skeletal sample. The Bosnian skeletal sample was better aged using the Bosnian-derived age ranges for the rib and pubic symphysis than when aged with the traditional U.S. based age ranges. Thus, morphological progression of the rib and pubic symphysis is population specific and the established U.S. aging standards should be used with caution when applied to foreign populations.

Included in

Anthropology Commons