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Cementum Annulations, Age Estimation, and Demographic Dynamics of mid-Holocene Forgers from North India

Cementum Annulations, Age Estimation, and Demographic Dynamics of mid-Holocene Forgers from North India

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Published by Gwen Robbins Schug
One of the principal problems facing palaeodemography is age estimation
in adult skeletons and the centrist tendency that affects
many age estimation methods by artificially increasing the proportion
of individuals in the 30–45-year age category. Several recent
publications have indicated that cementum annulations are significantly
correlated with known age of extraction or death. This study
addresses the question of how demographic dynamics are altered
for an archaeological sample when cementum-based age estimates
are used as opposed to those obtained via conventional macroscopic
methods. Age pyramids were constructed and demographic
profiles were compared for the early Holocene skeletal population
from Damdama (India). The results demonstrate that the use of
cementum annulations for age estimation in only a subset of the
skeletal sample has a significant impact on the demographic profile
with regard to specific parameters such as mean age at death
and life expectancy at birth. This confirms the importance of using
cementum annulations to refine age estimates in archaeological
samples, which, when combined with a fertility-centred approach
to demography, can provide new insights into population dynamics
in the past.
One of the principal problems facing palaeodemography is age estimation
in adult skeletons and the centrist tendency that affects
many age estimation methods by artificially increasing the proportion
of individuals in the 30–45-year age category. Several recent
publications have indicated that cementum annulations are significantly
correlated with known age of extraction or death. This study
addresses the question of how demographic dynamics are altered
for an archaeological sample when cementum-based age estimates
are used as opposed to those obtained via conventional macroscopic
methods. Age pyramids were constructed and demographic
profiles were compared for the early Holocene skeletal population
from Damdama (India). The results demonstrate that the use of
cementum annulations for age estimation in only a subset of the
skeletal sample has a significant impact on the demographic profile
with regard to specific parameters such as mean age at death
and life expectancy at birth. This confirms the importance of using
cementum annulations to refine age estimates in archaeological
samples, which, when combined with a fertility-centred approach
to demography, can provide new insights into population dynamics
in the past.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Gwen Robbins Schug on Feb 20, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/24/2014

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