Analytische Sterbealtersbestimmung von Skelettfunden : Möglichkeiten und Grenzen bei der Bearbeitung von historischem und rezentem Skelettmaterial

The aim of the present work is the research in age specific changes at human skeletal remains. Thereby references for the application of the methods for age estimation should be developed. With the optimized method the remains from the medieval graveyard Dresden-Briesnitz should be estimated. Based on the single age estimations the age structure of this population should be reconstructed. For the research skeletal remains with known age and sex from the 20th century were available. The recent series consists of Crania (n=300), Clavicles (n=41), Ossa coxae (n=50) and the Femora (n=83). From the medieval graveyard Dresden-Briesnitz up to 827 individuals were used. From this 411 adult individuals became part of the present work. For the methodological approach the age specific changes at the sutures of the skull, at the medial end of the Clavicle, at the Os coxae the Facies symphysialis, Facies auricularis and the Acetabulum, at the Os sacrum the Facies auricularis were compared with the chronological age at the recent material. Furthermore at the Femur and Humerus the changes in the proximal part and the microstructure in Femur, Tibia, Fibula and Humerus were observed. At the historical material the comparison was done with the changes at the Facies symphysialis and the histo-morphological changes in the Femur. The research in the age-specific changes showed, that the application of the morphological methods implied an extensive practice at remains with known age. The best results were achieved by the changes at the Facies symphysialis and the developed histo-morphologic method at the femur with the highest correspondence between the chronological and the estimated biological age. The histo-morphologic approach allows close estimates over the whole adolescent period. The methodological part of this approach, developed at the femur, is transferable to the tibia and the humerus. The Transition analysis, with the combination of the closure of the skull-sutures, the changes at the Facies symphysialis as well as auricularis at the hipbone is one of the most preferable methods in age estimation. The suture closure at the Tabula interna of the skull and the age specific changes at the Facies auricularis of the ilia can provide good information about age. But it is indispensible to consider the variability of the morphological characteristics and the wide age-ranges. Even the changes at the Acetabulum can give useful information to age at death. In the opposite, the changes at the obliteration at the Tabula externa of the skull especially the application of the lower sutures of the Neurocranium and the Viscerocranium shouldn’t be used for age estimation as single traits. After the orientation at the methods for age estimation with the recent material and the research in the age specific changes at the medieval material, age at death of the skeletons of Dresden-Briesnitz was estimated. The age structure of this graveyard was reconstructed with the single data of the skeletal individuals. A very low life expectancy of 26 years for the population of Dresden-Briesnitz was estimated. This low life span is correlated with the high rates of infant mortality. 50% of the individuals haven’t reached the adulthood. After overcoming the infant period the life span was growing. So many people reached the senile age cohort. Nearly the same number of men (n=115) and women (n=104) were buried at this graveyard. With the examination of Dresden-Briesnitz it was possible to close a gap in the anthropological reconstruction of the 10th – 13th century, which was an important period at the transition of the late Slavic to the early German settlement. A higher life span in the younger archaeological horizon (11th – 13th century) could be indicated for an optimization of the living conditions.


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