Dating human skeletal remains

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S35660 Checked for plagiarism Yes Review by Single-blind Peer reviewer comments 3 Chiara Villa, Niels Lynnerup Unit of Forensic Anthropology, Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark Abstract: The age of an individual is often a fundamental piece of data in connection with forensic identification of unidentified bodies.The methods most often used are based on visually determining various morphological, age-related changes in the skeleton (or teeth, although odontological methods are not reviewed in this paper).It is therefore proposed that a large study be undertaken to provide a calibration scale against which bones uncovered can be dated.In legal medicine, the post mortem interval (PMI) of interest covers the last 50 years.In recent years, forensic scientists have started to apply carbon-14 dating to cases in which law enforcement agencies hope to find out the age of a skeleton or other unidentified human remains.The new method is based on the fact that over the past 60 years, environmental levels of radiocarbon have been significantly perturbed by mid-20th-century episodes of above-ground nuclear weapons testing.Traditional radiocarbon dating is applied to organic remains between 500 and 50,000 years old and exploits the fact that trace amounts of radioactive carbon are found in the natural environment.

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Archaeologists have long used carbon-14 dating (also known as radiocarbon dating) to estimate the age of certain objects.When only human skeletal remains are found, determining the PMI currently relies mostly on the experience of the forensic anthropologist, with few techniques available to help.Recently, several radiometric methods have been proposed to reveal PMI.The method was primarily developed by Iscan and Loth (1986) who studied the metamorphosis of the sternal end of the fourth rib.They found that the metamorphosis corresponds to the age but does vary by sex.

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