Histological investigation of very small cremated bone fragmnets - Options and limitations

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URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10900/128496
Dokumentart: Buch (einzelnes Kapitel)
Date: 2022-06-27
Language: English
Other Keywords: cremation
age estimation
animal bones
dental cementum
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The anthropological analysis of cremated bone material originating from the archaeo-logical context often poses a great challenge to the examiner due to the high degree of fragmentation, thermally induced shrinkage, and deformation. Histological methods have proven useful for determining the age at death in these osseous remains. Cross sections of long bones are used during the qualitative histological examination. This allows for an assessment of characteristics pertinent to this analysis including individ-ual structural elements such as osteons, Haversian canals, the lamellar structure or resorption lacunae. Histological features characteristic for each age group are de-scribed. In addition, the implementation of tooth root cementum examinations for ag-ing, in which annual rings are counted, is presented. Animal bones are commonly found in cremations, e.g. through admixtures. In the case of very small diaphyseal fragments, morphological identification can often be very dif-ficult. But a distinction between animal and human bones is usually possible based on the internal structure of the compact bones.

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