The Iscan's phase method for the estimation of adult age at death from the sternal extremity of the fourth rib was introduced in 1983. Over the years, numerous tests have confirmed the reliability of this technique on varied samples. However, no large scale study has been conducted to test the application of this method on a modem white sample geographically, genetically, and culturally diverse from the American white database. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to apply rib phase standards to a Turkish sample to test if the progression of morphological changes follow the same age sequence. Using a sample of 150 males and 144 females of known age at death, each rib was phased using the standards developed by Iscan and associates in 1984 and 1985. The phase estimations were then subject to an analysis of variance. The results of the study indicated that Turkish ribs show the same morphological characteristics that define the phases at nearly identical ages. Variation as measured by the standard deviation increased from phase 5 on in both sexes. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that the rib phase standards can be accurately applied to Turks. Investigations of this nature are vital because one cannot assume that a method developed from one group is applicable to a distant population, especially in medicolegal proceedings. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.