Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2022, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (03): 439-449.doi: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2021.0063

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Application of the transition analysis in estimation of human skeleton age of the Pre-Qin period

HOU Kan()   

  1. College of history and culture, Shanxi University, Taiyuan 030006
  • Received:2020-12-03 Revised:2021-05-08 Online:2022-06-15 Published:2022-06-16


There had always been difficulties and controversies in estimating adult human skeleton’s age. Via reviewing the development of the estimation methods, it revealed that these methods would inevitably lead to biased results because of the effect of “age mimicry”, although the methods which based on the traits such as pubic symphysis and auricular surface on the ilium had been developed for a long time and was regarded as reliable methods. Based on Bayesian method and maximum likelihood estimation, “transition analysis (TA)” created by Jesper Boldsen et al. could eliminate the harmful effect mentioned above. By ADBOU, the practice of TA on the skeleton sample of the pre-Qin period from Shanxi reveled the different age-at-death distributions produced by traditional morphological observational method and TA. The difference of the results of age estimation would affect paleodemographic research notably so it is necessary to adopt TA, and more efforts on improving the estimation of skeleton’s age should be made.

Key words: Paleodemography, Transition analysis, Age estimation

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