Anthropology, Texas State University
April 16, 2020 , Platinum Ballroom
Wide prediction intervals in adult age estimation have fueled continuous research into potential age indicators and methods to narrow the predictive range. Several methods have been proposed and a new program—Transition Analysis 3 (TA3)—is currently being developed. TA3 uses indicators of several elements based on experienced observations (Ousley et al., 2019). The sacrum is a point of interest in TA3, as well as Passalacqua’s (2009) method. To assess the use of the sacrum for adult age estimation, the seven traits from Passalacqua (S2/S3 fusion, S1/S2 fusion, microporosity, macroporosity, surface changes, apical changes, and S1 ring fusion) and the three dichotomized traits described in the proposed TA3 manual (S1 margin shape, S1/S2 fusion, sacral elbow) were scored preliminarily on 20 individuals from the Texas State Donated Skeletal Collection (TXSTDSC) ranging in age from 18-91 years. Results show that 85% of individuals scored using the Passalacqua coding system fall within the given ranges, 52% of those falling within the narrower 68% range. As TA3 does not have a given age range for each trait, the three features’ scores were assessed using a Pearson correlation regression analysis. S1 Margin Shape shows a significant correlation to age at death (r=.6887, p<.001) as does S1/S2 Vertebral Fusion (r=.6523, p<.01). No individuals had the presence of a sacral elbow, indicating a lack of significance in the sample. These results indicate that scoring age-related sacral traits may be a useful addition to age estimation methods for a modern population.