Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-14-2023

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Carolyn Freiwald

Second Advisor

Matthew Murray

Third Advisor

James Cizdziel

Relational Format



My goal is to determine an accurate age at death estimation of an ancient Maya population from the archaeological site of Actuncan, Belize. This was done by measuring the lengths of the coronal pulp cavities in the individuals’ teeth. I used X-Ray images to measure the coronal pulp cavities of the teeth and estimated age using multiple regression formulae for premolars, molars, and incisors to make age estimations. The formulae came from two studies, Ikeda et al. (1985) and Drusini (2008), that form the basis of my research. Ikeda et al. (1985) was the first to use this aging method, while Drusini’s (2008) research closely follows the Ikeda et al. (1985) method using a new population. The measurements on the Actuncan population were measured by myself, a peer Eden Irwin, and Dr. Carolyn Freiwald. The results were inconsistent, some that clearly were errors. These inconsistencies are largely due to lack of a tooth-wear scale to base the teeth on, third-party X-Rays, formulae from multiple articles, and measuring program sensitivity. Overall, the age estimations fell within the 20 - 50 year age range. This research is important because age-at-death is the basis for understanding ancient health and longevity in archaeological populations and for use in forensic applications.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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