Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Smith, Fred H.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Anthropology


Frontal sinus; Human remains (Archaeology)--France


Although recognized as valuable, museum collections of historically excavated materials are frequently unavailable or unknown sources of data if they remain undescribed. The purpose of this study was to examine the previously unanalyzed juvenile frontal bone from Grotte Lacave, France and establish its ontogenetic and archaeological age. Examination of the frontal sinus morphology visible by anterio-posterior (AP) x-ray was the primary means of estimating ontogenetic age for this specimen. Comparison with sinus cavity dimensional standards for individuals of known age as well as examination of frontal bone morphology, specifically the development of the metopic suture, were also considered. Together these data indicate that the specimen best represents an individual of approximately 6-7 years in age. The archaeological age of the specimen was estimated by examination of historical documents describing the stratigraphy of the excavation and diagnostic artifacts associated with the frontal bone. While both the Magdalenian and Solutrean cultural periods are represented at the site, the frontal bone is most likely associated with the Magdalenian. This study demonstrated that, while complicated, it is possible to assess important contextual markers, such as ontogenetic and archaeological age, for historically excavated materials. Further, examination of the frontal sinuses as visible on AP x-ray provides an alternative means for estimating ontogenetic age of juvenile cranial remains. Finally, the techniques utilized in this study allow for current and future comparison with other specimens in the human fossil record.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [66]-74)


vi, 76 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type