Determining age

The science or study of primitive societies and the nature of man.

Moderators: Minimalist, MichelleH

Determining age

Postby countrcultur » Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:27 pm

Hello, this is my first post on this forum. I really enjoy coming here and reading all the interesting discussion. I have a question maybe some of you can help me with. When archaeologists and others find bones or human remains do they have techniques to determine the ages of the people? Do other sciences or studies determine historic life expectancies through other techniques? Thanks for any help on this. I thought that this was the forum most related to my question but if its better suited for elsewhere let me know.
countrcultur
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:29 pm

Re: Determining age

Postby Minimalist » Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:43 pm

In much the same way that forensic scientists can examine the skeletons of crime victims and tell the age, sex, and race of the victim.

Dating organic remains within 50,000 years can be done by carbon 14 dating.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forensic_anthropology


BTW, it was a good first question.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
Minimalist
 
Posts: 15443
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Determining age

Postby countrcultur » Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:02 am

Thank you. So is there anyway, to access this information. Are there websites where findings are posted that specifically deal with forensic anthropology? Basically I am interested in if there are life expectancies already established for different historic time periods and if not how could one get enough data to start putting one together for an area.
countrcultur
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:29 pm

Re: Determining age

Postby Minimalist » Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:10 am

I put the string forensic anthropology into Google and got over a million hits.

The wiki page cited above was #1.

This was #2.

http://www.anthro4n6.net/forensics/
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
Minimalist
 
Posts: 15443
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Determining age

Postby Cognito » Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:56 pm

Dating organic remains within 50,000 years can be done by carbon 14 dating.

Yes, that's the outlier, but with a half-life of 5,730 years C14 dating has its limitations beyond 25,000 years since a tiny amount of handling contamination can skew results in a big way.

Using simple math, an object from 26,639bce has retained 3.13% of its original C14, and by about 35,000bce the amount drops below 1% - and by the way, errors in handling, etc. generally make the samples appear younger. :D
Natural selection favors the paranoid
User avatar
Cognito
 
Posts: 1569
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:37 am
Location: Southern California

Re: Determining age

Postby countrcultur » Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:18 pm

Cognito wrote:
Dating organic remains within 50,000 years can be done by carbon 14 dating.

Yes, that's the outlier, but with a half-life of 5,730 years C14 dating has its limitations beyond 25,000 years since a tiny amount of handling contamination can skew results in a big way.

Using simple math, an object from 26,639bce has retained 3.13% of its original C14, and by about 35,000bce the amount drops below 1% - and by the way, errors in handling, etc. generally make the samples appear younger. :D


Sorry, are you talking about dating what time period they are from? Or does carbon dating also determine age?
countrcultur
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:29 pm

Re: Determining age

Postby Digit » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:48 pm

Carbon dating doen't tell the age of the individual at time of death, only what period of time has passed since death.
Determining age at death is standard forensic procedure, for example, number of teeth that have erupted, whether certain bones have 'fused', tooth wear.
More detailed info can be obtained by sectioning teeth or bone.
Welcome to the club BTW.

Roy.
First people deny a thing, then they belittle it, then they say it was known all along! Von Humboldt
User avatar
Digit
 
Posts: 6618
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:22 pm
Location: Wales, UK

Re: Determining age

Postby Minimalist » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:08 pm

The machinations of native american groups concerning Kennewick Man show that sometimes the dating of an ancient specimen to a specific time do have modern political overtones, though.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
Minimalist
 
Posts: 15443
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Determining age

Postby Digit » Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:21 pm

Some people would make a political point about having a crap Min.

Roy.
First people deny a thing, then they belittle it, then they say it was known all along! Von Humboldt
User avatar
Digit
 
Posts: 6618
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:22 pm
Location: Wales, UK

Re: Determining age

Postby Minimalist » Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:09 pm

Ah, so you've been following the republican nomination process, have you?
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
Minimalist
 
Posts: 15443
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Determining age

Postby Digit » Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:44 am

Now I could be wrong of course Min, but I would guess that you are a Democrat perhaps? :lol:

Roy.
First people deny a thing, then they belittle it, then they say it was known all along! Von Humboldt
User avatar
Digit
 
Posts: 6618
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:22 pm
Location: Wales, UK

Re: Determining age

Postby Minimalist » Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:21 pm

Is there a choice?

Image
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
Minimalist
 
Posts: 15443
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Determining age

Postby Digit » Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:35 pm

The land of the free Min! :lol:
Just been watching a programme about nomadic America, snow birds etc. Definitely has its attractions.

Roy.
First people deny a thing, then they belittle it, then they say it was known all along! Von Humboldt
User avatar
Digit
 
Posts: 6618
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:22 pm
Location: Wales, UK

Re: Determining age

Postby Minimalist » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:32 pm

Every winter the damn snow birds show up here and clog up the roads.

I wish they'd stay in Minnesota.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
Minimalist
 
Posts: 15443
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Determining age

Postby Digit » Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:56 am

Now now Min! Just think, doring your recent hot summer you could have headed their way and clogged their roads! :lol:

Roy.
First people deny a thing, then they belittle it, then they say it was known all along! Von Humboldt
User avatar
Digit
 
Posts: 6618
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:22 pm
Location: Wales, UK

Next

Return to Anthropology and Primitive Societies

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest