The original age-at-death estimations of the adult individuals excavated from Middle-Late Woodland site, Helton Mound 20 in the Lower Illinois Valley, were re-evaluated using Transition Analysis and a taphonomic evaluation of each the individuals was done to understand their correlation. The goal is to understand how the recognition of taphonomic processes differs now from when the estimations were made in the 1970s and how that affects the estimations themselves. The results suggest that taphonomic damage had an effect on the original age estimation from the 1970s due to the fact that the current estimations seem to be younger than the original. This indicates a lack of understanding of taphonomic processes in the 1970s. This new information can be helpful with understanding mortuary rituals, health patterns, and social structure of this population. The amount of weathering suggests mortuary treatment of the remains. Transition Analysis, along with other basic methods for estimating age-at-death will also be discussed to gain an understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of using Transition Analysis for this research, as well as to discuss the cultural importance of those results to the transition from the Middle Woodland to the Late Woodland.


Kardulias, P. Nick




Biological and Physical Anthropology


Bioarchaeology, archaeology, anthropology, osteology, Hopewell

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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