The 81st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2012)

Reliability of classic scoring methods for age estimation of pelvic bone applied to CT and laser scans


1Laboratory of Biological Anthropology, Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Copenhagen - Denmark, 2Biological Anthropology Research Centre, Archaeological Sciences, University of Bradford - UK, 3LABANOF, Forensic Anthropology and Odontology Laboratory, Department of Human Morphology, University of Milan - Italy

Thursday 150, Plaza Level Add to calendar

CT and laser scanning technologies are increasingly used in anthropology, mainly for personal identification and the estimation of race and sex. Recent studies have demonstrated the potential of CT-scans for age estimation by analyzing the pelvic bone. However, applications of laser scans to the problem of age estimation of the pelvic bones are much scarcer. We investigated how the morphological features of the pelvic bone surface can be described and scored on 3D datasets from CT and laser scans of a sample of 12 male pubic symphyses from cadavers and 8 auricular surfaces selected from the original reference set used for developing the Buckberry and Chamberlain (2002) method. The 3D datasets produced by the laser scanner have a better resolution than those produced by the CT-scanner, but not enough to see all features that can be observed on dry bones. It is not possible to recognize taphonomic alterations from morphological changes without additional information as for example the use of a high-resolution picture of the bone. Features such microporosity and macroporosity cannot always be correctly evaluated in laser scans and are even more difficult to identify in CT scans. The difference between a finely granular surface and a coarsely granular surface can not be scored. Billowing and transverse organization can be identified but the degree of expression is difficult to evaluate. In conclusion, we suggest that the classic scoring methods of the pelvic bones need to be modified and reimplemented before they can be applied to such 3D datasets.

comments powered by Disqus