Age-at-Death Estimations from Helton Mound 20

Author(s): Moeana Franklin; Nick Kardulias

Year: 2017


The original age at death estimations of the adult individuals excavated from Helton Mound 20 (Middle to Late Woodland) in the Lower Illinois Valley were re-evaluated using Transition Analysis. In addition, a taphonomic evaluation of each individual was undertaken to determine the ways in which the bones would have been modified during their interment. The goal is to understand how the current recognition of taphonomic processes differs from the original estimations from the 1970s and how that affects the estimations of age at death. The results suggest that taphonomic damage had an effect on the original age estimation because the current works suggests the individuals were younger than the originally suggested. These results are the product of a better comprehension of taphonomic processes that scholars have acquired in the past four decades. The new information can provide a more precise understanding of mortuary rituals, health patterns, and social structure of this population. The amount of weathering suggests postmortem treatment of the remains, with exposure to the elements for extended periods of time. Transition Analysis and other basic methods for estimating age at death are discussed to gain an understanding of their benefits and drawbacks in such research.

Cite this Record

Age-at-Death Estimations from Helton Mound 20. Moeana Franklin, Nick Kardulias. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429495)

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Geographic Keywords
North America - Midwest

Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16191