International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution
Coverage: 1923-1941 (Vols. I-XIX) & 1962-2021 (Vols. 1-59)
ISSN 0323-1119 (Print)
ISSN 2570-9127 (Online)
Special Issue dedicated to the memory of Vladimír Novotný is in preparation.

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'Lampl M, Mann A, Monge J, 2000: A Comparison of Calcification Staging and Histological Methods for Ageing Immature Modern Human Specimens. Anthropologie (Brno) 38, 1: 51-62'.
The past fifteen years have been a time of controversy regarding how to interpret dental development and chronological ages at death from skeletal specimens. A central focus of some of these debates concerns the comparison of ages derived from traditional radiological studies that identify calcification stages of developing dentition to ages derived from histological study of enamel microstructure. This study provides a detailed description of two unaged children from an archaeological context in the Middle East. These individuals are assessed according to previously published methods for the ageing of incremental growth in crowns and roots of different teeth. Scanning electron micrographs were taken to count the perikymata on enamel surfaces and histological sections of teeth were prepared and analysed for counts of internal striae of Retzius and cross striations. In line with previously published methods, total crown formation times were derived and root formation rates established in order to establish ages at death. With the exception of first incisor crown formation, the results found here are in line with other studies for crown formation. The ages at death assessed by the histological methods are significantly shorter than those derived from radiological references standards and provoke questions: one child with first molar erupted is aged at 3.4 years of age and a second child, at second molar alveolar eruption, is aged at 5. 8 years. These early ages are hypothesised to result from methodological flaws in the proposed method. By comparison with the other extant study of root extension rate, the human children studied here overlap ranges previously reported for non-human primates. The notions concerning distinctive differences are considered within this context. The present data extend the descriptive data base on population variability in perikymata counts and striae of Retzius observations for comparative studies of dental development in modern humans. The ages at death resulting from these methods are questioned, and some reconsiderations of the validity of these approaches are suggested.
Skeletal ageing - Dental calcification - Dental histology - Age-at-death - Immature human skeletons

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