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Forensic Science
Course Code
Hisham Ragab

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Forensic Anthropology - Identification of human remains (using human skeleton and archeological context) - Search for, recover, analyze and present in court - Skeletonized and badly decomposed human remains - 86% homicides known killer Ethics - Standards of conduct and moral judgments - Legal rights and responsibilities regarding human remains - Burials cannot be disturbed - Coroner/ police orders investigation and to call in experts Locating and to recover human remains - Where to search/why - Body dumpsite characteristics (features, accessibility) - Search indictors (plants destroyed, softer soil, animal activity) - How to search - How to properly excavate To ensure: - Greater accuracy in evidence collection - Increased probability of collecting all evidence - Recover maximum amount of skeletal remains - Document relationships between objects (context) - Prevention of postmortem damage Analyses - Inventory (Minimum Number of Individuals) comingled remains - Animal vs. human - Forensic significance: reduces police workload, reduces anxiety of families Taphonomy - Study of processes affecting body after death - Transport, burial, fossilization, discovery - State of bones: environment (elements: erosion, weathering), animal and human activity - Affecting colour, texture and shape. - Importance: consistent with tip/testimony, movement of the body, elapsed time since death Time since death - Identification and testing alibis - 3 methods: corporal (decomposition), environmental (insects, leaf layers, roots, artifacts), habitual activities Identification - General (sex, age, ancestry) - Specific (past trauma, disease, bone wear patterns, anomalies) Sex determination - Adults only - Population variation - Morphological: shape of pelvis and skull - Metric: size (95% overlap between sexes) - Both methods are used Age estimation - Degenerations that go along with the aging process (hard to distinguish after 50) - Individual variability: lifestyle, health, nutrition - Pubic symphysis - Auricular surface - Histology - In sub-adults: dental formation (matrix production and mineralization, enamel), eruption (emergence of tooth relative to gum/bone), most accurate for prenatal and early adolescence. - Long bone l
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