FORENSICANTHROPOLOGYSPRING 2011 Prof. Nathan Whitley-Grassi
What do Forensic Anthropologistsdo? Use anthropological knowledge to assist the process of law. This often involves assisting law enforcement in identifying skeletal remains. Identify specific characteristics that can be used to identify human remains. Age and stature Time since death Gender Evidence of Trauma or Pathology Distinguishing traits
How does Forensic AnthropologyWork? Osteology Bones Odontology Teeth Morphometrics Measurements
Forensic Anthropology in theMediaAnthropologists do not Anthropologists do usually dousually do the following: the following Run DNA tests Assist with collection of human remains Analyze blood Cleans bones spatter Analyzes skeletal Conduct autopsies material Analyze ballistics Examines trauma and Collect trace pathology to bone evidence Testifies in court
Tools of the ForensicAnthropologist Palpate Toexamine or explore by touching (an organ or area of the body), usually as a diagnostic aid
Introduction: The problem of the unidentified Violence and Forensic Anthropology Identification
Education Requirements: Requires a post graduate degree in physical, biological or forensic anthropology. Many have additional training in human biology, anatomy, medicine, nursing or dentistry. On the Job training! Constant personal research Preferred: PhD.
Objectives of anAnthropological Investigation: Identification Determination or cause and manner of death Estimation of time since death Collection of physical evidence Anthropologist – Physical/Biological Focus on skeletonized remains Anthropologist – Archeologist Recovery of evidence
Forensic AnthropologyCHE 113 12 Goal: Biological Profile Includes: 1. General Description 2. Sex of decedent 3. Age of decedent 4. Ancestry of decedent 5. Stature of decedent 6. Assessment of trauma (ante-, peri-, post mortem) 7. Pathologies noted
Osteology: study of skeletal remainsach bone studied INDIVIDUALLYCHE 113 13 E 206 Skeletal Bones (total)
Personal Identification: Are they Human? One or more than one individual? Description? (sex, age, stature, race, handedness) Unique traits? (abnormaity, prostheses, remodeling) Who is it? Or at least Who ISN’T it?
Circumstances of Death: When did it occur? Where did it occur? (Here or moved) Was the grave disturbed? Buried more than once? Cause of death? (gun shot, stabbing, asphyxia) Manner of death? (Suicide, homicide, accident, natural)
Cause v. Manner of Death:Cause of Death Manner of Death Medical Legal determination determination Based on: Evidence and Simple description Opinion!!!! of cause 1. Natural Could include 2. Accidental underlying causes 3. Suicidal 4. Homicide 5. Undetermined
Stages of an Investigation: Collection of verbal evidence Collection of physical evidence Analysis of evidence In the US Anthropologists are typically confined to the last two. In some other countries they may engage in all aspects of the investigation.
Ethical issues in ForensicAnthropologyYour Promise to me!
Questions?Next Week:Osteiology and Intro to ForensicsChapters 2 in Burns