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Ymittos Athens, Greece

Moraitis K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Zorba E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Eliopoulos C.,Liverpool John Moores University | Fox S.C.,Wiener Laboratory
Journal of Forensic Sciences

The accurate age estimation of adults is an important step in the construction of the biological profile of skeletonized remains. The auricular surface of the ilium as it was developed in 1985 by Lovejoy et al., is one of the methods employed for age estimation. This study presents the results of a blind test of the revised auricular surface aging method developed by Buckberry and Chamberlain. A sample of 120 individuals from the Athens Collection was used to test this revised aging technique. Almost all features and composite score were positively correlated with known age-at-death. The calculation of bias demonstrated no obvious trend for either overestimation or underestimation of age when all individuals were pooled together. Inaccuracy showed that absolute errors of estimated ages against known ages are substantial. The data generated from this study suggest that the revised method can be reliable for age estimation on a modern European population. © 2013 American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Source

El Zaatari S.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | El Zaatari S.,Wiener Laboratory | Grine F.E.,State University of New York at Stony Brook | Ungar P.S.,University of Arkansas | Hublin J.-J.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Journal of Human Evolution

In the late Middle and early Late Pleistocene, Neandertals inhabited a wide variety of ecological zones across western Eurasia during both glacial and interglacial times. To elucidate the still poorly understood effects of climatic change on Neandertal subsistence patterns, this study employs dental microwear texture analysis to reconstruct the diets of Neandertal individuals from various sites across their wide temporal and geographic ranges. The results of this study reveal environmentally-driven differences in the diets of Neandertal groups. Significant differences in microwear signatures, correlated with paleoecological conditions, were found among Neandertal groups that lived in open, mixed, and wooded environments. In comparison to recent hunter-gatherer populations with known, yet diverse diets, the occlusal molar microwear signatures of all the Neandertal groups indicate that their diet consisted predominantly of meat. However, the results of this study suggest that plant foods did form an important part of the diet of at least some Neandertal groups (i.e., those that lived in mixed and wooded habitats). Overall, the proportion of plant foods in the Neandertal diet appears to have increased with the increase in tree cover. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Fox S.C.,Wiener Laboratory | Eliopoulos C.,Liverpool John Moores University | Moutafi I.,University of Sheffield | Manolis S.K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Journal of Forensic Sciences

A simple technique for imaging the human skeleton with a flatbed scanner is presented using the auricular surface of the ilium as an example. A flatbed scanner with resolution capabilities of 600 dpi or greater allows for images of human bones. The auricular surface of the ilium was selected to demonstrate this technique as it is a fairly three-dimensional area that can be difficult to record photographically. Fifty left ilia of various ages at death from the Athens Collection were selected from which three observers (SCF, CE, and IM) scored the morphology of the auricular surface using a well-established aging method. Observations were taken of the dry bone, of digital photographs of the bone, and of scanned images of the bone, and in that sequence. Results indicate that scores of scanned images are equivalent or better than digital images of the same ilia. This technique allows for sharing data electronically with ease. © 2010 American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Source

Nikita E.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki | Nikita E.,Wiener Laboratory
American Journal of Physical Anthropology

The current article explores whether the application of generalized linear models (GLM) and generalized estimating equations (GEE) can be used in place of conventional statistical analyses in the study of ordinal data that code an underlying continuous variable, like entheseal changes. The analysis of artificial data and ordinal data expressing entheseal changes in archaeological North African populations gave the following results. Parametric and nonparametric tests give convergent results particularly for P values <0.1, irrespective of whether the underlying variable is normally distributed or not under the condition that the samples involved in the tests exhibit approximately equal sizes. If this prerequisite is valid and provided that the samples are of equal variances, analysis of covariance may be adopted. GLM are not subject to constraints and give results that converge to those obtained from all nonparametric tests. Therefore, they can be used instead of traditional tests as they give the same amount of information as them, but with the advantage of allowing the study of the simultaneous impact of multiple predictors and their interactions and the modeling of the experimental data. However, GLM should be replaced by GEE for the study of bilateral asymmetry and in general when paired samples are tested, because GEE are appropriate for correlated data. Am J Phys Anthropol 153:473-483, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Harvati K.,University of Tubingen | Darlas A.,Ephoreia of Paleoanthropology and Speleology of Northern Greece | Bailey S.E.,New York University | Bailey S.E.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Human Evolution

The Kalamakia cave, a Middle Paleolithic site on the western coast of the Mani peninsula, Greece, was excavated in 1993-2006 by an interdisciplinary team from the Ephoreia of Paleoanthropology and Speleology (Greek Ministry of Culture) and the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle (Paris). The site is dated to between ca. 100,000 and >39,000 years BP (Before Present) and has yielded Mousterian lithics, a rich fauna, and human remains from several layers. The latter include 10 isolated teeth, a cranial fragment and three postcranial elements. The remains represent at least eight individuals, two of them subadults, and show both carnivore and anthropogenic modifications. They can be identified as Neanderthal on the basis of diagnostic morphology on most specimens. A diet similar to that of Neanderthals from mixed habitat is suggested by our analysis of dental wear (occlusal fingerprint analysis) and microwear (occlusal texture microwear analysis), in agreement with the faunal and palynological analyses of the site. These new fossils significantly expand the Neanderthal sample known from Greece. Together with the human specimens from Lakonis and Apidima, the Kalamakia human remains add to the growing evidence of a strong Neanderthal presence in the Mani region during the Late Pleistocene. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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