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ANT205 Lecture 5

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Carolan Wood

ANT205 – Lecture 5 FORENSIC SIGNIFICANCE -to reduce police workload, ie. Save time and effort -reduce stress of families with missing relatives -usually human skeleton remains if forensic significant Sometimes animal remains: -poaching -case from BC HUMAN VS. ANIMAL REMAINS (JUST SOME STATS) -Doag Ubelaker (Smithsonian) -10-15% animal -Bill Bass (n of Tennessee) -25-30% non-human -Dr. Rogers’ cases (n=70) -animal = 27 -archaeological = 13 -historic = 5% -human – non forensic = 9% - forensic = 46% *** ie. Lower chance by 50% -- save time *know the human skeleton in details *complete bones – not difficult to determine *recommendation – faunal archaeology (animal bones) SIZE -within normal adult size range, then consider shape, angle of joints -with normal child range -epiphyses (ends) = unfused ANIMAL BONES MOST SIMILAR TO HUMAN -non human primates -most similar in infancy - similarity decreases with age GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS -animal bones more dense -heavier for size -well-defined surfaces, edges -more angle and ridges ** due to different weight distribution, ie. Stand in 2 legs SKULL -human: -bulbous forehead -fragments uniformly curved -Animal: -fragments flat or sharply curved RIBS: Human: very curved Animal: often curved mainly at one end BEAR PAWS VS. HUMAN HANDS -without claws most similar to human hands -bear carpals (wrists) larger, more defined - bear metacarpals (palm) ridge down head and shaft PELVIS: Human: broad and short ; supports weight of upper body Animal: narrow and long FEMUR (THIGH BONE) -bear similar in size, but more robust and no neck - human: delicate, defined neck, rounded head *not all human remains are of forensic significance ARCHAELOGICAL -except vandalism, looting -must determine the nature of remains; forensic anthropologist or archaeologist -sources
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