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Cémentochronologie : précision et exactitude de l’estimation de l’âge au décès : influence de la taphonomie

Abstract : Age at death estimation is a fundamental component of creating a biological profile in forensic and bioarchaeological contexts. Cementochronology based on annual deposition of acellular cementum is one of the most effective ageing techniques, and its accuracy, i.e. the agreement between estimated age and chronological age, is acknowledged in many publications. However, the lack of standardization slows down the adoption of this method and hinders the evaluation of its precision that remains unknown as well as the impact of taphonomical processes. The first objective of this thesis is to measure the agreement between cementum estimates, i.e. the precision, and then to assess the accuracy through the evaluation of the quality of the accordance between chronological age and estimates based on a standardized and ISO-9001 certified protocol to overcome bias due to sample preparation. The second objective is to gauge the impact of taphonomical effects too often neglected. Counting cementum increments on histological preparations is time-consuming and represents a major difficulty to perform cementochronological studies. Another goal is to experiment a semi-automatic program resulting from a col-laboration between anthropologists (UTML) and software developers (FEI Visualization Sciences Group). To achieve these goals, our study is based on 2000 histological sections from 400 canines. 200 canines are derived from reference collections with documented age, sex, postmortem interval and burial duration. In order to grasp the influence of taphonomy on slices readability and on precision and to investigate the applicability of this method on ancient material, 200 canines extracted from archaeological assemblages dated between the XIIth century and XVIIIth century are included in the study. Accuracy and precision are assessed for each age group in considering post-mortem intervals and taphonomical conditions and show a reliability influenced by age but also by tissue preservation. This work aims, on a large standardized sample, to discuss cementochronology’s performance for individual and population approaches, to provide recommen-dations and to propose a prediction model to reduce differences between estimated age and chronological age.
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Submitted on : Thursday, August 23, 2018 - 1:00:07 PM
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Benoit Bertrand. Cémentochronologie : précision et exactitude de l’estimation de l’âge au décès : influence de la taphonomie. Médecine humaine et pathologie. Université du Droit et de la Santé - Lille II, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017LIL2S041⟩. ⟨tel-01860390⟩

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