Dating human skeletal remains

Instead individuals are usually classified into general age categories.

dating human skeletal remains-62

Radiocarbon dating is perhaps one of the most commonly employed methods to determine the age of remains.

The method involves calculating the measurement of carbon 14, (a radioactive form of carbon) in material.

With children however (if the remains have no tissue), it is very difficult to determine gender as they have no developed enough to have the stark differences in physicality.

Sometimes teeth can be a clue as to what sex, but otherwise it depends on individual cases and circumstances as to whether the child’s gender can be identified. PNG It is difficult to determine precisely how old an individual was when he or she died, based solely on skeletal remains.

There is an abundance of knowledge that we can attain by analysing human remains.

We can learn all sorts of things about the individual their physical attributes, diet, activities, health, age and cause of death.

Having been asked to avoid destructive dating methods such as radiocarbon dating, the authors used Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) to date the sediments embedded in the cranium.

Not only do our methods contribute to the immediate repatriation efforts, they provide archaeologists with a versatile, non-destructive, numerical dating method that can be used in many burial contexts.

In a recent effort to repatriate the remains, it was necessary to fit them into a cultural chronology in order to determine the appropriate tribe(s) for consultation pursuant to the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).

Because the remains were found in an eroded context with no artifacts or funerary objects, their age was unknown.

With the skull alone sex should be determined accurately about 90% of the time.


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