Paleodemography: Critiques and Controversies

Jane E. Buikstra, Lyle W. Konigsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent criticism of paleodemographic methods (Bocquet‐Appel and Masset 1982) has centered on biases introduced by the nature of reference samples and the population‐specificity of techniques for estimating age in skeletal remains. This paper examines five key arguments concerning this bias and alleged imprecision from the perspective of life table analysis. The results of our simulation and statistical analyses indicate that the criticism leveled by Bocquet‐Appel and Masset is extreme. Imprecision in age indicators applied to older adults remains a problem, however, as does interobserver error. 1985 American Anthropological Association

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-333
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican Anthropologist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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