Document Type



A method for calculating life expectancy from skeletal or gravestone series is discussed for use in the study of the overall adaptation of a population to its environment. The method involves a new procedure for arranging the data available from cemetery gravestone inscriptions. From this data arrangement system comes the index of life expectancy, a new measure of the adaptive success of a population through time. The methods of life expectancy analysis are applied to two towns of early Connecticut, and a significant level of variation in adaptive success is estimated.