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Age of Nefertiti, age of skeletons, etc
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anneke
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The gist of the paper I mentioned (mathematical) suggests that one should have have a database of skeletons some of which one can determine the age of (or at least approximate) to get a reasonable age estimate.
The different criteria used to determine age should be given an appropriate age.

I think in this case (by what neseret mentioned) one should probably give less weight to the lipping as the individual also shows signs of scoliosis.
The signs of arthritis may need to be seen in light of the level and typr of activity. That may be a function of the individual's activity.

Like I said I was not trying to argue the body is older. Just trying to show what was said on the documentary Smile
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Sothis
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too think like others that the methods of Hawass et al. to prove the older age of KV 55 via alterations to the spine are somewhat fishy.

But having read the posts which suggest that the osteophytes are probably the results of the scoliosis and not of age I came to ask myself why on Tut`s spine there is obviously no trace of lipping or similar things at all.
There has been nothing in this latest report about pathological findings in Tut`s spine besides kyphioscoliosis nor has there ever been in other examinations a.f.a.s.I.k.
After the 2005 scan his scoliosis was even declared not pathological due to the absence of scoliosis related abnormities of the vertebrae. I remember Prof. Connolly declaring on some TV show that scoliosis is out because there was no rotation to the vertebrae which were perfectly formed. I don`t know though if the "rotation" he mentioned referred to the same lipping we are talking about now or some other problem.

My problem now is that how can it be that of two closely related individuals who both had scoliosis and lived presumably in the same conditions and had about the same lifespan one develops altertions to his spine and the other not?
Is it still possible then that Tut`s scoliosis really wasn`t pathological but KV55`s was?
Or was Tut`s scoliosis pathological but not severe enough to cause osteophytes?
Or, as the last possibility I can think of, do only some people affected by scoliosis develop osteophytes or other abnormalities and others just don`t?
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Sothis
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anybody remember if in any of the examination reports done on KV55 anything has been said about the wear of the teeth?
I think if there is any visible wear showing on his teeth it would indicate a higher age than 25. Tut`s teeth do not seem do display any signs of wear at nearly20, but considering the hard sandy bread as main part of the diet I would expect wear to show a few years on.

KV55`s teeth look healthy from the outside,only the bottom incisors are somehow damaged or worn in life. But what about the inside,especially the molars?
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Scribe2
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear All,

I'm not sure how this thread got on to a discussion of Nefertiti's face and age, but I would add that we also have the small figurines in the Louvre - both Akhenaten and Nefertiti - in later age.

This dyad us useful as it shows them in comparative height in probable reality and also places them in the same point in time - i.e their ages in the same year.

But it looks quite like the image that Newmoon showed with the uraeus remved.

Sorry I have not yet leant how to drag an image into the message body.
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Scribe2
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
In the documentary on the discovery channel there is mention of 3 areas they looked at:
1. the sutures on the skull. These sutures were not completely fused.


Which argues for a younger age: however, as noted, such evidence alone would not equal a younger age.

However, I urge people to note that cranial suture closure is not the only determinant of a younger age, as found by Derry (1931), Harrison (1966), or Filer (2000). There, no less than 9 different criteria were covered by these 3 authors, all of which argued for a younger age to the KV 55 remains between 20-25 years of age.

They rather glibly gloss over this in the Discovery Channel video, however. None of these other criteria were even discussed, which is, IMO, very misleading.

anneke wrote:
[2. With respect to the spine they referred to "ossification". This is the "lipping" referred to I think.


They are referring to osteophytes (bone spurs), which form along the spine. Anterior or posterior osteophytes tend to develop within the concavities of scoliosis or kyphosis, and thus are not necessarily related to age determination. Since the KV 55 remains shows evidence of both this bone spurs on the spine and even more seriously, femoral osseous collapse, one has to realise that both are evidence of the scoliosis also present in the KV 55 remains.

An image of the "lipping" (spurs) can be see on an X-ray of a scoliotic man of 69 here. As you can see, these spurs are very advanced, with the bone "lipping" almost completely enclosing the space between the spaces between vertebrae. However, similar "lipping" has been seen on ancient individuals younger than 30, according to an archaeologists on EEF, and as reported by Scribe2 in another post, even in Nubian children as young as 9 years of age.

Again, anecdotally, similar lipping was noted on my cervical spinal by the age of 18, and as my spinal scoliosis developed more from mid-teens onwards, such bone spurs could be detected clearly on my lumbar vertebrae since about age 24.

anneke wrote:
3. Signs of a mild degenerative disease (mild arthritis) in the leg and knee bones.


According to Resnick (2005), such degeneration of the femur and knee bones is related to the scoliotic symptoms of some individuals. This would make sense, as pressure of scoliosis in the spine also puts pressure on the hips and legs of an individual.

anneke wrote:
[See: http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/king-tut-unwrapped/
Look at the second video on the page. That one has the discussion about the age.


Yes, but sadly, this was heavily glossed in the video over as definitive determinants for age: as noted above, the presence of scoliosis takes such 'lipping' away as a an age determinant. Rather, the 'lipping' is more as evidence of pathology of the spine. Arthritis and osteophytes are not clear age determinants, as you can easily have these same conditions show up even in children.


OK, once again I'm going to grind my axe here.

Neseret, you are completely correct when you say that cranial suture closing is indicative of younger age. But this is predicated on the fact they actually close. I simply do not believe that in healthy humans that ossification of these sutures occurs until late in life, and as the result of degeneration processes rather than maturity processes. So I do not expect them to be any use under the age of forty, even in those days of accelerated ageing. You may think that this is out of step with mainstream medicine, but for decades Gray's Anatomy used to declare that Sacro-iliac joints were fused in adults, and now noone would believe that.

Lipping or osteophytic development (the two are synonymous) can occur around the joint line of any joint, most commonly stressed joint in the hip, knee or foot, or in the spine.

Osteophytes in the spine are the result of calcification of the longitudinal ligaments surrounding the spine, usually due to loss of disc height, which in turn produces slack in these ligaments. They then undergo more stress in movement and the resulting activation of fibroblast cells causes more bone cells to be laid down than collagen. When they are the result of ageing they are subsequent to global disc loss at one level of the spine. Scoliosis is a twist in the spine - it occurs because the human spine naturally sidebends as it rotates, thus causing a spirality in posture. It can happen through a great number of circumstances, most of which are strains and traumas, so it is very common. Most people who have visited a chiropractor will have heard the term. My point here is that lipping AND scoliosis in Tutankhamun cannot be used as determinants of hereditary or even congenital situations. If he injured his leg early in life and from then on used a walking stick for assistance, as seems to have been the case, then scoliosis is almost a surety. In scoliosis the lipping is more unilateral, as Neserat again accurately pointed out.

The evidence for that is:
1. the huge collection of walking sticks - 21-year-olds do not collect walking sticks as a hobby !
2. the various images of him shown using a stick
3. the wear pattern on his sandals. Anneke once posted that speculation on an individual from 3000 years ago was risky, but the sandals are 'smoking gun evidence'. He may as well have worn them yesterday. The wear pattern shows that he carried his weight strongly on the ball of his left foot. This belies any so-called evidence of the skeleton that he had congenital bits missing and so forth in his left foot. It simply does not add up, and I therefore have to conclude that the foot damage is posthumous. Not suprising. And I also add that walking on the ball of the foot is very unlikely with a club foot, which forces the sufferer to walk on the heel and skew with each step.

So what I see is an early trauma, dated before his teen growth spurts, which caused him to use a cane. I say this because one of the things that the CT DID show clearly was that one leg was slightly shorter than the other. Now this does not happen congenitally unless there is serious hip dysplasia, and there was no evidence of that, or unless there is juvenile polio affecting the leg or a trauma. It needs to happen early to affect the final growth spurts. In adults this does not happen.

Now with any decent period of using a stick, people will develop a quite lop-sided gait, a forward bent standing posture, and scoliosis. This is called functional scoliosis, because it arises as the result of imposed circumstances, and usually can be reversed.

Of course, if Tutankhamun walked for some years with a stick, then the femoral trauma did not kill him, and the whole trauma/malaria scenario dissolves into so much dust.

And the signs of mild degeneration in the knees - well, I would like to see the evidence there. In the pictures I remember the knees were completely dis-articulated and evaluation simply by looking at the joint surfaces is really not enough. I would expect some accelerated but one-sided wear with the scenario I have outlined. Were there osteophytes mentioned? I don't remember any being so.



As always, I hope this illuminates rather than irritates !
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Scribe2
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Sothis. most of the older mummies seem to show gum-line erosion in the rear molars in particular, together with sometimes ulceration which must have been fairly troublesome.

But I would place them (mummies) in the age-range over 50, so would you expect this to be a determinant here?
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Scribe2
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To All of You,

It is most likely a stupid question, but has everyone given up on the theory that Nefertiti became co-regent as Smenkhkare, and that is why she disappears from the record suddenly ?

And if so, what were the arguments? I don't remember that being discussed.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We were talking about KV55 and you are talking about Tutankhamen.

I'm a little confused on what it is you're arguing and how it connects to what we were talking about.

Quote:
has everyone given up on the theory that Nefertiti became co-regent as Smenkhkare, and that is why she disappears from the record suddenly ?

And if so, what were the arguments? I don't remember that being discussed.

Analysis of epithets used indicates that there were 2 important people who were on the scene near the end of Akhenaten's reign or just after.
Prenomen: Ankhkheperure
Nomen: Djeserkheperu Smenkhare - a man

Prenomen:Ankh(et)kheperure
Nomen: Neferneferuaten - a female

Leaving the possibility that Ankhetkheperure Neferneferuaten was Nefertiti.
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Scribe2
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No Anneke,

I am arguing across ALL the mummies, and the whole approach to skeletal analysis. It affects KV55: it affects Tutankhamun. If you don't understand please ask me a specific.

As to the theory of Nefertiti/Smenkhkare - yes, I know that, but has it been discount in this board? And if it has been discussed, where might I find it.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scribe2 wrote:

I am arguing across ALL the mummies, and the whole approach to skeletal analysis. It affects KV55: it affects Tutankhamun. If you don't understand please ask me a specific.

Must be the fact that more than half of your post is about Tut that threw me off then Very Happy

I still don't see much about a general approach to skeletal analysis. All the comments are rather specific to the sutures for the first 1/3 of the post and the rest seems to be about osteophytes and scoliosis.

I think the reliability depends a knowledge of the skeletal remains of a larger group of individuals from that specific period so that possibly correlation coefficients for the different indicators can be adjusted. In absence of that more detailed information one would have to turn to standard literature which gives some correllation coefficients which may have been established for other populations.

According to an article i'm looking at the correlation coefficients (which roughly speaking give some sense of the reliability) are (scale form 0 to 1, one being most reliable)
cranial sutures ca .6 for men (possibly lower for women)
dental wear ca .7
pubic symphysis ca .6
auricular surface ca .7
etc

But the information is only as good as the control population one can collect information about.
In the case of Ancient Egypt the problem is that we don't have a nice control group whose ages we know and where we can estimate these relative age at which this population matured.

It leaves us with something that is somewhat less than an exact science. As demonstrated by the rather widely varying age estimates we have seen in the case of KV 55.

Some estimates seem to be based on more indicators than others, so this may just be a bit more reasonable.


Scribe2 wrote:

As to the theory of Nefertiti/Smenkhkare - yes, I know that, but has it been discount in this board? And if it has been discussed, where might I find it.

I don't remember by heart. At the top of the page is a search feature.
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Sothis
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually it was me who threw Tut into the discussion a few posts ago.
My question was that how can it be that Tut was never said to have signs of lipping, rotation or similar to his spine but KV 55 has.
Given the fact that both had scoliosis and lived in the same conditions and if one assumes that KV55 was 20-25 when he died they were about the same age, too, why then has KV55 developped visible alterations to his spine and Tut has not?

I have not seen a satisfying explanation for this in the recent posts yet.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Newmoon wrote:
Is this the head you're talking about? I've added it to the group for comparison.




Yup, that's it. They may not all be of the same woman but they do look related don't they?

Quote:
It seems significant that the sandstone doesn't bear any of the features of the heads more commonly attributed to Meritaten--https://www.courses.psu.edu/art_h/art_h111_bac18/princess1.jpg--not that there's any finite proof this individual is actually Meritaten.


Meritaten does seem to have favored the skullcap crown though.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sothis wrote:
Does anybody remember if in any of the examination reports done on KV55 anything has been said about the wear of the teeth?


The program was on again this afternoon. I watched particularly for what they said about the KV55 skeleton. They mentioned there were traditional methods of getting an age using the sutures and the teeth. They sort of waived off the fact that the sutures weren't closed and didn't mention the teeth at all.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most serious researchers reject teeth, both from the point of view of eruption and of wear, as reliable indicators of age. Craneal sutures and bone epiphyses are much better guides.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sothis wrote:

Quote:
My question was that how can it be that Tut was never said to have signs of lipping, rotation or similar to his spine but KV 55 has.
Given the fact that both had scoliosis and lived in the same conditions and if one assumes that KV55 was 20-25 when he died they were about the same age, too, why then has KV55 developped visible alterations to his spine and Tut has not?


There are two factors in the development of lipping. The first is the amount of intitiation or continued stress on the cartilage. In other words, if someone has a dire accident, say a motorbike accident involving high speed deceleration and fractures, then there will be high stress inputs into the cartilage (polymeric structures). On the other hand, if the strain was caused, say doing gardening and lifting some heavy pots, then the input forces will have low kinetics, and the degree of inputs will be lower. So every case has its own uniqueness. Of course, the high kinetic scenario will also tend to produce highly focal change - we would expect to see the lipping focalised at just one or two segment levels. In comparison, age-related lipping tends to be a good number of levels, and evenly spread.

Scoliosis is an example of a continuous stress placed on the cartilage, and Neseret has pointed out, the stress is unilateral usually, based on the concave side of the curvature. so the lipping tends once again to be fairly even over the curve.

The other big factor is time. Osteophyte establishment occurs over a longish time period except in case of extremely high-kinetic input. So the older a person is, the more likely they are to have lipping in their spine.

So when we look at two individuals who both have scolioses, we have to take into account the degree of curvature and how it affected their movement function, and also what kind of active lives they had - a person who lifts a lot, for example, will have more effect from their scoliosis.

When the two individuals share common genetic ancestry, I would expect their cartilage changes to be matched. But there are still too many factors to be able to draw decent conclusions here.

I would say though, IMO, that the chances are that KV55 is an older skeleton despite your saying that they should be the same age.

I would also reiterate the point that neither scoliosis nor osteophytic lipping are genetic nor congenital in origin. These are functional changes in the spine, and normal physiology. They are not birth defects, nor malformations. Even juvenile scoliosis is the result of fast-twitch muscle fibres struggling with erratic HgH during growth spurts, mixed with erratic estrogen during menarche, and so far more prevalent in girls. These are functional processes, not genetics.

Anneke wrote:

Quote:
2. With respect to the spine they referred to "ossification". This is the "lipping" referred to I think.


Formally, ossification is the process whereby a neonatal (toddler's) spine changes from being largely cartilage, to having all bone where the bones should be in adults. This process also takes place in long bones, where the growth takes place at growth lines called epiphyses. Once growth has finished, after the growth spurts in teen-age years, these epiphyses tend to completely ossify.

Granite wrote:
Quote:
Craneal sutures and bone epiphyses are much better guides.

and these are the epiphyses Granite is referring to. They are arguably the most reliable measurement. The cranial sutures derive because the bones of the skull start off all cartilage, and gradually 'crystalise' from ossification centres until the skull is almost all bone, with the sutures left a little like expansion joints. These, IMO, remain functional until later in life when geriatric changes take over.

But Anneke, you may be right that the JAMA paper used ossification in a looser sense.
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