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, 437 (7057), 333-4

Forensics: Age Written in Teeth by Nuclear Tests

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Forensics: Age Written in Teeth by Nuclear Tests

Kirsty L Spalding et al. Nature.

Abstract

Establishing the age at death of individuals is an important step in their identification and can be done with high precision up to adolescence by analysis of dentition, but it is more difficult in adults. Here we show that the amount of radiocarbon present in tooth enamel as a result of nuclear bomb testing during 1955-63 is a remarkably accurate indicator of when a person was born. Age is determined to within 1.6 years, whereas the commonly used morphological evaluation of skeletal remains and tooth wear is sensitive to within 5-10 years in adults.

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