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Forensic Anthropology Web-Quest
http://www.biologycorner.com/quests/bones/index.html
Objectives
 Understand what a forensic anthropologist does
 Reconstruct 4 "unknown" skeletons
 Determine the age, sex, height of the "unknowns"
 Investigate forensic art and its application in finding missing persons
 Determine the identities of the 4 "unknowns"
STEP 1 - Background
Go to link marked "Let Evidence Reveal the Truth", then to Facial Reconstruction and Forensic
Anthropology
Questions to consider
1. How are facial reconstructions made using a skull?

What are the limitations of these reconstructions?

What materials are used?
2. How can bones be used to determine age?
3. What three points on a skeleton are used to determine gender?
4. What bone is commonly used to determine height?
Answer the following questions on your own using the web as a resource!!!
1. What is forensic anthropology?
2. What is forensic botany and forensic entomology?
3. What information about the deceased can be found by studying the bones?
4. What differences can be found among racial groups?
Investigative Techniques of Forensic Anthropology
Mouse over the skeleton to answer these
1. What can the teeth tell you about the deceased?
2. How can the skull be used to determine age?
3. How is the pelvis of a female different from the pelvis of a male?
4. The hand bones can help you determine what about the deceased?
Forensic Anthropology (answer the following on your own-website doesn’t work)
1. View the bones for determining sex, describe the shape of a female pelvis.
2. Compare the femur bones of males and females, how do they differ?
3. Compare the skull bones of individuals from different races, how do they differ?
Facial Reconstruction (answer on own-website doesn’t work)
View the steps involved in creating a sculpture of the deceased
1. What is a tissue depth marker?
2. Why is determining the shape of the nose and ears difficult for a sculptor?
3. How can a person's teeth affect their facial characteristics?
When you have reviewed all of the links and feel confident continue on to
Step 2 – The Scene
Follow the instructions listed!!! Bone Sets have been copied for you and are attached
You need to determine the identity of the bones based on age and height
Determine the gender of your subject by looking at the shapes of specific bones
Bone Gender
Set
1
2
3
4
Explanation
Use the following formula to determine the height of your subject
Your "paper" skeleton is not a real skeleton. Assume that 1cm on
your paper skeleton = 8.6 cm on the real skeleton
Male (real)
(2.32 x length of the femur in cm.) +65.53 ± 3.94
Female
(real)
(2.47 x length of the femur in cm.) + 54.10 ± 3.72
Bone
Set
Height
1
IN:_____
2
Cm:____
IN:_____
3
Cm:_____
IN:_____
4
Cm:_____
IN:_____
Explanation (Work!!!)
Cm:_____
* On
your reconstructed skeleton, include information about the gender and height of the
skeleton and point out your reasoning for your claims (include formulas or arrows to bones, etc)
Step 3 - Determining Age
Bone
Set
1
2
3
4
Age (over
or under 35?)
Explanation (sagittal suture)
Step 4 - Facial Reconstruction
Skeleton Match
Set
Identity?
Explanation
1
2
3
4
Conclusion:
Bone
Set
1
2
3
4
Identity
(Name)