Welcome to J-Skel, the digital juvenile skeletal age estimator. This project is aimed at acquainting students of physical anthropology and human osteology with a few of the different methods used to estimate the age-at-death of human juvenile skeletal remains.
Due to their complex growth and development, juvenile remains are rarely addressed in introductory osteology courses and even infrequently studied in advanced settings. As a result, some osteologists and physical anthropologists are relatively unfamiliar with juvenile osteology when remains are encountered in the field or lab. However, it is their complex development that allows to more accurately estimate the age of juvenile remains compared to those of an adult. For this project, epiphyseal fusion has been the main aging method, but will also touch upon tooth formation and eruption, as well as the appearance of ossification centers.
Research involving juvenile skeletal remains has gained traction in the past few decades, but there is still a bias. Most of the studies published, and most that are used in this project, were done using white European or European American samples. As the research corpus expands, more regional studies are being conducted and tailored to specific geographically and culturally bounded populations.
*Note: all illustrations of the skeletal remains on this site were created by site the designer, Jack A. Biggs, and based off of images taken at the Michigan State University Bioarchaeology Lab.