3. Institut für Humangenetik und Anthropologie, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany
Gender and age at death of individuals are important informations for paleodemographic examinations. The age estimation of skeletal material is difficult because of missing reference data. Moreover recovered skeletal remains are often fragmented. In this examination, we estimate the age of skeletal fragments with material of mandible, maxilla and occipital bone based on metrical data. The examined material consists of bones from 162 subadult individuals (mandible: 66; maxilla: 46; occipital bone: 79) from a Dresden-Briesnitz population of twelfth to fourteenth century. The method comprised six successive steps: 1. Age estimation of immature bones based on dental material. 2. Setting up a comprehensive metrical programme with measurements found in literature and new measurements defined by our own. 3. Measuring of the material. 4. Development of curves for age depend changes of metrical dimensions. 5. Evaluation of the measurements (under 2) suited for growth curves in order to estimate the age. 6. Age estimation of skeletal material without dental material based on the measurements. For all three bones (mandible, maxilla, occipital bone) growth tendencies were found for several measurements, which allowed on age estimation based on measurements of the skull bones of individuals without dental material. Our data are compared with the results from a population of the "Urnenfeld-period" (1200-800 BC) from Erfurt-Melchendorf; both populations show similar results.