Library Dissertation Showcase

The Accuracy of the Suchey-Brooks Aging Method on the Pubic Symphysis: An Analysis of User Error and Photographic Evidence

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2020

The pubic symphysis is well known for its morphological changes associated with increasing age. Many methods have been developed using the pubic symphysis but the most favourable age estimation method amongst forensic anthropologists is the Suchey-Brooks, 1990 method. The aim of this study was to see if the accuracy of the age estimations made using the Suchey-Brooks, 1990 method were affected by two variables; user experience and photographic evidence. The first experiment saw two groups of participants (five with experience and five without) estimate the age of six pubic symphysis from the University of Lincoln Anthropology collection using the Suchey-Brooks description and casts. A few days later, the same participants were asked to come back. This time instead of aging using physical bones, they used digital printed images of the same pubic symphyses. Once the results were collected from the participants, statistical analysis was conducted on the data collected, however, no significant difference between experiment one and experiment two was observed. There was also no significant difference between the participants with experience and those without. Therefore, it was concluded that age estimations made using the Suchey-Brooks aging method on physical bone were as accurate as they were using printed digital images and that user experience had no effect on the ability to accurately estimate the age of skeletal human remains.

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