This Old Bone Lab Activity

This Old Bone Lab Activity


Determine Age from Osteon Counts

Perform an actual technique used by forensic anthropologists to determine the age of an individual at their time of death. Students will gain valuable microscopy and anatomy skills in this activity as they learn to count, measure, and analyze the Haversian systems in bone using a compound microscope with an ocular micrometer (both sold separately). Includes a stage micrometer, six prepared microscope slides of ground human bone, a teacher’s guide, and student copymasters.

Materials Included
•6 Slides of ground bone
•1 Stage micrometer, 2mm x 0.01mm

Materials Needed But Not Provided
•Ocular micrometer (reticle)
•Compound microscope
•Masking tape or similar
•Calculator (optional)

Time Requirement
•Approximately 45 Minutes

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