Title

Reliability of Age at Death in the Hamann-Todd Collection: Validity of Subselection Procedures Used in Blind Tests of the Summary Age Technique

Publication Title

American Journal of Physical Anthropology

Publication Date

11-1990

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1002/ajpa.1330830308

Keywords

forensics, pubic symphysis, palaeodemography, age determination

Disciplines

Anthropology

Abstract

The blind test procedures used by Lovejoy et al., (Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 68:1–14, 1985a) have been criticized because they used the Hamann-Todd collection as their known-age population. It has been suggested that variation within this sample was reduced by selection procedures designed to ensure accuracy of age at death. Powerful statistical tests for differences in dispersion of ages for pubic symphyseal stages were applied to comparisons between their core sample (N = 238) and those of a large autopsy-room collection used to develop the Suchey-Brooks System (N = 530). The variances in ages of the selected Hamann-Todd Sample are not reduced. The careful subselection of specimens has resulted in a valid statistical core sample for use in the development of aging methodologies.