Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Age Distributions from Skeletal Samples


Part of Cambridge Studies in Biological and Evolutionary Anthropology

Robert D. Hoppa, James W. Vaupel, Bethany M. Usher, Ariane Kemkes-Grottenthaler, Jesper L. Boldsen, George R. Milner, Lyle W. Konigsberg , James W. Wood, Ursula Wittwer-Backofen, H. Buba, Darryl J. Holman, Kathleen A. O'Connor, Rebecca J. Ferrell, Richard R. Paine, Bradley Love, Hans-Georg Müller, Nicholas P. Herrmann
View all contributors
  • Date Published: October 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521089166

£ 41.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Paleodemography is the field of enquiry that attempts to identify demographic parameters from past populations (usually skeletal samples) derived from archaeological contexts, and then to make interpretations regarding the health and well-being of those populations. However, paleodemographic theory relies on several assumptions that cannot easily be validated by the researcher, and if incorrect, can lead to large errors or biases. In this book, physical anthropologists, mathematical demographers and statisticians tackle these methodological issues for reconstructing demographic structure for skeletal samples. Topics discussed include how skeletal morphology is linked to chronological age, assessment of age from the skeleton, demographic models of mortality and their interpretation, and biostatistical approaches to age structure estimation from archaeological samples. This work will be of immense importance to anyone interested in paleodemography, including biological and physical anthropologists, demographers, geographers, evolutionary biologists and statisticians.

    • Cross-disciplinary volume with contributions from both biological anthropology and demography
    • Provides guidelines for those undertaking demographic research from archaeological populations
    • Analyses assumptions often made incorrectly for anthropological and demographic research
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: '… a must for all palaeodemographers and biological statisticians.' International Journal of Osteoarchaeology

    Review of the hardback: 'Paleodemography has a checkered history and this book will mark a milepost.' American Journal of Human Biology

    Review of the hardback: 'There are many excellent aspects of this well-produced book, not least the standardisation of terminology and notation across the contributions which makes the statistical reasoning less impenetrable than would otherwise be the case.' Journal of Human Evolution

    Review of the hardback: 'In sum, palaodemographers, skeletal biologists, forensic anthropologists, bioarchaeologists, as well as archaeologists will find Paleodemography an important resource.' Society for Archaeological Sciences Bulletin

    Review of the hardback: '… essential for everyone with an interest in palaeodemography, including researchers and graduate students in biological anthropology, palaeopathology and biostatistics.' Annals of Human Biology

    'This very important book is an essential reference for anyone attempting to estimate demographic parameters through the study of human remains. … this volume is a carefully crafted contribution to palaeodemography, focused upon methodological concerns. Essential for practitioners, its contents should also appeal to a broader scientific community, including statisticians, demographers and evolutionary biologists.' Antiquity

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521089166
    • length: 276 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.41kg
    • contains: 32 b/w illus. 25 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The Rostock Manifesto for paleodemography: the way from stage to age Robert D. Hoppa and James W. Vaupel
    2. Paleodemography: looking back and thinking ahead Robert D. Hoppa
    3. Reference samples: the first step in linking biology and age in the human skeleton Bethany M. Usher
    4. Aging through the ages: historical perspectives on age-indicator methods Ariane Kemkes-Grottenthaler
    5. Transition analysis: a new method for estimating age-indicator methods Jesper L. Boldsen, George R. Milner, Lyle W. Konigsberg and James W. Wood
    6. Age estimation by tooth cementum annulation - perspectives of a new validation study Ursula Wittwer-Backofen and H. Buba
    7. Mortality models for paleodemography James W. Wood, Darryl J. Holman, Kathleen A. O'Connor and Rebecca J. Ferrell
    8. Linking age-at-death distributions and ancient population dynamics: a case study Richard R. Paine and Jesper L. Boldsen
    9. A solution to the problem of obtaining a mortality schedule for paleodemographic data Bradley Love and Hans-Georg Müller
    10. Estimating age-at-death distributions from skeletal samples: a multivariate latent trait approach Darryl J. Holman, James W. Wood and Kathleen A. O'Connor
    11. Markov Chain Monte Carlo estimation of hazard model parameters in paleodemography Lyle W. Konigsberg and Nicholas P. Herrmann
    12. A re-examination of the age-at-death distribution of Indian Knoll Nicholas P. Herrmann and Lyle W. Konigsberg.

  • Editors

    Robert D. Hoppa, University of Manitoba, Canada
    ROBERT D. HOPPA is a physical anthropologist in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Manitoba. His research interests include historical demography, epidemiology, human skeletal biology, growth and development and forensic anthropology. He has also co-edited Human Growth in the Past: Studies from Bones and Teeth (1999; ISBN 0 521 63153 X).

    James W. Vaupel, Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung, Rostock
    JAMES W. VAUPEL is a demographer and is currently Director of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany. He is also Professor of Demography and Epidemiology at the Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, and Senior Research Scientist at the Sanford Institute at Duke University in North Carolina. His research focuses on human biodemography, human longevity and centenarian research. He has authored or edited numerous books in the field of demography, particularly oldest old mortality, including Population Data at a Glance (1997), The Force of Mortality at Ages 80 to 120 (1998), and Validation of Exceptional Longevity (1999).


    Robert D. Hoppa, James W. Vaupel, Bethany M. Usher, Ariane Kemkes-Grottenthaler, Jesper L. Boldsen, George R. Milner, Lyle W. Konigsberg , James W. Wood, Ursula Wittwer-Backofen, H. Buba, Darryl J. Holman, Kathleen A. O'Connor, Rebecca J. Ferrell, Richard R. Paine, Bradley Love, Hans-Georg Müller, Nicholas P. Herrmann

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.