Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

Before, this last 30 years, children have been excluded or neglected human bioarchaeological studies has been. One key to understand children in the past, is to study their skeletal remains. “Developmental Juvenile Osteology” by Scheuer and Black,23 is a gem reference in this field with such regrouped aspects on the anatomy and development of the immature skeleton, and since revised edition have been edited.41,42 “The Osteology of Infants and Children”, published in 2005,27 a field guide for the identification and recovery of immatures (infant and child) remains on archaeological sites. “The Bioarchaeology of Children”, by Lewis (2007), 10 provided a synthesized view on immature remains and their interpretation in relation to archeological and funeral contexts. Since that, bioloarchology of children, has known major advances such as diet analysis, DNA study, etc.
Our aims in this research are to assess, the efficiency of a novel method of sex estimation mainly on immatures, and to outline what we consider to be some of the more important key aspect of analysis in skeleton remains : sex determination, and to emphasize its high impact in the field of bioarcheology and forensic anthropology of young individuals.
Herein we present a method for secure biological sex determination of human remains by means of a minimally destructive of tooth enamel and subsequent identification of sex chromosome-linked isoforms of amelogenin. In archaeological contexts, teeth generally sur- vive better than bone, and thus sex can be established using this approach for adults as well as juvenile skeletons in the absence of key skeletal identifiers. This novel study sheds light on the potential of ancient proteomics for obtaining biological information such as sex estimation or age-related changes, which cannot be extracted from conventional bioarchaeological methods.

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