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Lecture 24 – History and New Perspectives in Forensic Anthropology

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Western University
Anthropology 2235A/B
Eldon Molto

Lecture 24 – History and New Perspectives in Forensic Anthropology  All people have 2 identities o A. Biological Identity (BI - age, sex, ancestry, stature) o B. Personal Identity (PI - name and defining idiosyncratic characteristics) o Forensic anthropologists have focused on individuation methods of biological identity, plus some details of personal identity  General Information o Human remains are often found months or years after the crime and only bones and teeth are available o The amount of time required for a body to be completely skeletonized varies according to time of year, location, etc o Research at the Tennessee Body Farm helped to develop methods to determine how long it takes to skeletonize and as well what odors etc can be used to find remains quickly for individuation o Skeletonized remains are usually studied by forensic anthropologists often in conjunction with a forensic odontologist (dentist with forensic skills) o Using standards developed for different populations from ‘War Dead’, cadaver collections, living populations etc the forensic anthropologist is skilled at using these methods for biological and personal identification o Samples are biased heavily on males who lived at a time before the impact of the secular trend in height and maturation o Most of the forensic cases involved people who wen
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