Anthropology Presentations

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This poster discusses technical aspects of an investigation into the use of non-destructive radiological analyses of pubic cancellous bone structure to estimate age-at-death from human skeletal remains. This study stems from findings, in X-ray plain films, of increased rarification and orientation of trabeculae with age [1]; likely in concert with the macroscopic remodelling of the symphyseal surface currently used in estimation of age-at-death.

The study uses three non-destructive X-ray imaging modalities: plain film radiography, computed tomography (CT), and micro-CT (μCT). Plain film radiography has greater spatial resolution than CT [2] and is relatively inexpensive, widely available, and, with portable X-ray units, even accessible in the field for archaeological and forensic applications. CT scanners are largely restricted to clinical settings due to the size, sensitivity, and cost of the machine, but offer a greater contrast resolution than plain film radiography [2]. More expensive and more precise, μCTscanners are further restricted in their availability and accessibility, but CT andμCTmodalities provide volumetric data, avoiding the confusion of overlying cortical and cancellous structures and the apparent increases in density with element thickness seen in plain film radiography.


Poster presentation at the 35th annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Physical Anthropology held in Banff, AB in November, 2007