A Proposed Osteological Method for the Estimation of Pubertal Stage in Human Skeletal Remains
- by Fiona Shapland* and Mary E. Lewis
“Puberty forms an important threshold between childhood and adulthood, but this subject has received little attention in bioarchaeology. The new application of clinical methods to assess pubertal stage in adolescent skeletal remains is explored, concentrating on the development of the mandibular canine, hamate, hand phalanges, iliac crest and distal radius. Initial results from the medieval cemetery of St. Peter’s Church, Barton-upon-Humber, England suggest that application of these methods may provide insights into aspects of adolescent development. This analysis indicates that adolescents from this medieval site were entering the pubertal growth spurt at a similar age to their modern counterparts, but that the later stages of pubertal maturation were being signiﬁcantly delayed, perhaps due to environmental stress. Continued testing and reﬁnement of these methods on living adolescents is still necessary to improve our understanding of their signiﬁcance and accuracy in predicting pubertal stages” (read more/not open access).
(Source: American Journal of Physical Anthropology, in press 2013)