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Forensic anthropology is the application of the science of physical anthropology and human osteology (the study of the human skeleton) in a legal setting, most often in criminal cases where the victim's remains are in the advanced stages of decomposition. A forensic anthropologist can also assist in the identification of deceased individuals whose remains are decomposed, burned, mutilated or otherwise unrecognizable. The adjective "forensic" refers to the application of this subfield of science to a court of law.

Contents

Overview

Forensic anthropologists can help identify skeletonized human remains, such as these found lying in scrub in Western Australia, circa 1900–1910.

Forensic anthropological techniques can be used to assist in the recovery of remains, assess age, sex, stature, ancestry, and analyze trauma and disease. Forensic anthropologists frequently work in conjunction with forensic pathologists, odontologists, and homicide investigators to identify a decedent, discover evidence of trauma, and determine the postmortem interval. Though they typically lack the legal authority to declare the official cause of death, their opinions are taken into consideration by the medical examiner. They may also testify in court as expert witnesses. Data from some infrequently used techniques, such as forensic facial reconstruction, are inadmissible as forensic evidence in the United States.

In the United States

Physical anthropology is one of the divisions of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Two of the most important research collections of human skeletal remains in the U.S. are the Hamann-Todd Collection, housed in the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Terry Collection, housed in the Smithsonian Institution. These collections are an important historic basis for the statistical analysis necessary to make estimates and predictions from found remains. More modern collections include the William M. Bass Donated Skeletal Collection at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Practitioners

There are few people who identify themselves as forensic anthropologists, and in the United States and Canada, there are fewer than 100 Anthropologists certified as Diplomates of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology(DABFA).[1] Most Diplomates work in the academic field and consult on casework as it arises.

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Notable forensic anthropologists

See also

References

  1. ^ "American Board of Forensic Anthropology". American Board of Forensic Anthropology, Inc.. http://www.theabfa.org/. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 

External links


Forensic anthropology is the application of the science of physical anthropology and human osteology (the study of the human skeleton) in a legal setting, most often in criminal cases where the victim's remains are in the advanced stages of decomposition. A forensic anthropologist can also assist in the identification of deceased individuals whose remains are decomposed, burned, mutilated or otherwise unrecognizable. The adjective "forensic" refers to the application of this subfield of science to a court of law.

Contents

Overview

Forensic anthropological techniques can be used to assist in the recovery of remains, assess age, sex, stature, ancestry, and analyze trauma and disease. Forensic anthropologists frequently work in conjunction with forensic pathologists, odontologists, and homicide investigators to identify a decedent, discover evidence of trauma, and determine the postmortem interval. Though they typically lack the legal authority to declare the official cause of death, their opinions are taken into consideration by the medical examiner. They may also testify in court as expert witnesses. Data from some infrequently used techniques, such as forensic facial reconstruction, are inadmissible as forensic evidence in the United States.

In the United States

Physical anthropology is one of the divisions of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Two of the most important research collections of human skeletal remains in the U.S. are the Hamann-Todd Collection, housed in the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Terry Collection, housed in the Smithsonian Institution. These collections are an important historic basis for the statistical analysis necessary to make estimates and predictions from found remains. More modern collections include the William M. Bass Donated Skeletal Collection at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Practitioners

There are few people who identify themselves as forensic anthropologists, and in the United States and Canada, there are fewer than 100 Anthropologists certified as Diplomates of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology(DABFA).[1] Most Diplomates work in the academic field and consult on casework as it arises.

Notable forensic anthropologists

See also

References

  1. ^ "American Board of Forensic Anthropology". American Board of Forensic Anthropology, Inc.. http://www.theabfa.org/. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 

External links


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