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Forensic
Anthropology
Introduction
Human Biology/Forensics
B.M.C. Durfee High School
Objectives
• Describe Forensic Anthropology
• Describe the history of Forensic Anthropology
• Identify the three fields of Forensic
Anthropology
• Describe the requirements to become a
Forensic Anthropologist
Introduction
• This course is Biological Anthropology
• We have covered many themes
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
Primates
Evolution
Paleoanthropology
Genetics
Disease
Life Cycle
Variation
Forensics
• We have also covered lots of forensics
o Handwriting
o Toxicology
o Pathology
o Body Fluids
o Fingerprinting
Forensics and Anthropology
• Forensic Anthropology is where Forensics
meets Biological Anthropology
This Unit
• Last Unit for Seniors!
• Plan
o What is Forensic Anthropology
o Osteology & The Bones
o Features in the Bones
o Review and Test
What is Forensic
Anthropology?
• Physical or Biological Anthropology
• Physical Anthropologists who specializing in
examining human skeletal remains where legal
questions are involved
What is Forensic
Anthropology?
• Multidisciplinary with other forensic
disciplines
• Knowledge of the bones complement the
pathologist’s knowledge of the soft tissue
What is Forensic
Anthropology?
• Human Identification
o Age, sex, race, stature
• Cause and Manner of Death
• Reconstruct way of life up
until death
What is Forensic
Anthropology?
• Specialties
o Interpret post-mortem processes
o Recover scattered or buried remains
o Extrapolate soft tissue on skeletal form
o Biomechanical interpretation of sharp and
blunt force injuries to bone
What is Forensic
Anthropology?
• Three Major Tasks
o Identify Victim
o Reconstruct post-mortem period
o Provide data about death event
Forensic Anthropology
History of Forensic
Anthropology
• First in 1939 - Guide to Identification of Human
Skeletal Material by FBI
• Trotter in 1948 - repatriated bodies of WWII
soldiers in Hawaii
• 1979 First Textbook
Today…
• Forensic Anthropologists can determine age,
sex, height, ancestry and some behavior
• Work with pathologists, entomologists
• Work in labs at universities and medical
institutions; work with law enforcement and
medical examiners
Secrets in the Bones
• Examining the bones can reveal:
o
o
o
o
o
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o
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If the bones are human
The age
The height
The sex
Injuries
Nature of wounds
History of accidents/injury
Medical and childbearing history
Three Fields of Forensic
Anthropology
• Forensic Osteology: study of the skeleton
• Forensic Archaeology: controlled collection
and excavation of human remains
• Forensic Taphonomy: study of changes
occurring to human remains at the time of and
after death including trauma, decomposition
and environmental modification.
What do Forensic Anthropologists Ask
When Identifying Remains?
•
•
•
•
•
•
Are they human?
How many individuals?
Sex?
Age?
How long ago did they die?
Manner and cause of death?
How can you become a
Forensic Anthropologist?
• Major in Anthropology
• Courses In Biology & Physical Sciences
• Also: statistics, archaeology, anatomy and
osteology
• Ph.D. in anthropology (human anatomy and
osteology)
• Experience in Field
• Exam from American Board of Forensic
Anthropology
You will also need…
• Record of research, papers and publications in
the field
• Lectures and participation in professional
training in forensics
• College teaching experience
• Trial experience
• Only 50 certified
Other Specialties
•
•
•
•
Facial reproduction
Radiography
Dental analysis
Analyze special evidence:
o Insects
o Blood
o Hair
o Fur
o DNA analysis
• Mass Disaster Assistance
Employment
• Usually will teach at universities or work in
museums
• Usually consult
• Part time
Services offered by Forensic
Anthropology Lab
•
•
•
•
Collected recovery of remains & evidence
Analysis of remains for positive ID
Clarification of circumstances of death
Presentation of evidence and opinions in court
Things That Forensic
Anthropologists CANNOT Do
• Autopsies
• Final Determination of cause or manner of
death
• Final positive identification from dental or
medical X-Rays
• Weight
Review
• Describe Forensic Anthropology
• Describe the history of Forensic Anthropology
• Identify the three fields of Forensic
Anthropology
• Describe the requirements to become a
Forensic Anthropologist
Learn Long
Live Long