International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 133, Issue 3, pp 909–920 | Cite as

Application of the recent SanMillán–Rissech acetabular adult aging method in a North American sample

  • Marta San-MillánEmail author
  • Carme Rissech
  • Daniel Turbón
Original Article


Recently, a renewed acetabular aging methodology was published by San-Millán et al. (Int J Leg Medicine, 47, 131: 501–525), refining the variables associated with acetabular fossa aging in different populations. Due to its novelty, this method has not yet been examined in any other population, other than it was developed and originally tested on. Therefore, the main goals of this study are two-fold: (1) to evaluate the accuracy of SanMillán–Rissech’s method in a North American sample made up of 826 white (456 males and 370 females) individuals from the Bass Collection and (2) to determine whether the revised methodology shows higher rates of accuracy than the original methodology (J Forensic Sci, 31, 51(2): 213–229). Scores obtained by both methodologies were analyzed via a Bayesian statistical program (IDADE2) that estimates a relative likelihood distribution for the target individuals, produces age-at-death estimates, and provides 95% confidence intervals. Even though the revised method was developed using a Western European collection, the results demonstrate that it is also applicable to North American samples with reasonable accuracy results, i.e., an average absolute error of 7.19 years in males and 9.65 years in females. However, accuracy in females is significantly lower than in males, likely due to their higher morphological variability associated with different factors other than age. The significantly better performance of the revised methodology compared with the original is also been confirmed by the current findings from this North American sample, supporting the renewed system as a better aging methodology. Although work on further populations is needed, previously and current results should encourage professionals to include the acetabular method in forensic and archaeological laboratories routines.


Acetabulum Aging Age-at-death estimation North American population Accuracy 



We are grateful to Emma Bonthorne, Sheryl Spigelski, and Kyra Stull for her helpful comments and Professor Dawnie Steadman, PhD Jieun Kim, and their team for allowing us access to the collection used for this investigation. This study was partially funded with a stay scholarship additional to FPU grant (AP2010-0595) from the Ministerio de Educación of Spain to Marta San-Millán.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.EUSES University School of Health and Sports, University of GironaSaltSpain
  2. 2.Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences Department, Faculty of BiologyUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Unit of Anatomy, Department of Medical Sciences, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Balearic IslandsPalma de MallorcaSpain

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