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Anthro Notes

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Department
Anthropology
Course
Anthropology 2235A/B
Professor
Eldon Molto
Semester
Fall

Description
Anthro Notes Oct. 4/12 Lec. 5 - Anthropology and dentistry have overlapping skills in forensic science, but are not included in the same sections of the American and Canadian societies. Both areas are skilled in the use of teeth for aging unidentified remains, though their approaches are different. They have distinct histories as well. Dentistry became involved because of the use of antemortem and post-mortem records and anthropologists in the identification of unknowns through skeletal evidence. Today, both subareas are being redefined, particularly anthropology. Though they often overlap, they are generally approached by the legal community for different reasons that often reflect differences in the state of the remains odontologists are used for recent remains (often with soft tissue) and anthropologists are used for totally skeletonized remains. Both, however, are involved in mass disasters and crimes against humanity. - Forensic anthropology: Traditionally, forensic anthropology has focused on laboratory techniques for individuating biological identity, plus some details of personal identity. All people have two identities: Biological identity (BI) age, sex, ancestry, stature. Personal identity (PI) name and defining idiosyncratic characteristics, which are unique traits. Biological identity is also called an osteobiography. In cases where remains are unknown, the process of identification (individualization/individuation) proceeds from establishing the biological identity to determining the personal identity. - Forensic anthropology: Human remains are often found months or years after the crime and only bones and teeth are available. The amount of time required for a body to be completely skeletonized varies according to time of year, location, etc. Research at Body Farms has recently helped to develop methods to determine how long it takes to skeletonize and what odours can be used to find remains quickly for individuation. Skeletonized remains are usually studied by forensic anthropologists often in conjunction with a forensic odontologist (dentist with forensic skills). Using standards developed for different populations from war dead, cadaver collections, and living populations, the forensic anthropologist is skilled at using these methods for biological and personal identification. Unfortunately these samples are biased heavily on males who lived at a time before the impact of the secular trend in height and maturation. Most of the forensic cases involved people who went missing in the last few decades. Skills are best learned studying large skeletal samples from relatively homogeneous populations (rare in forensics). There are new perspectives in anthropology defined by the paradigm shift. - Brief history: We can divide the history into two broad periods 1. Traditional Beginnings to mid- 1980s, characterized by Iscans article in 1988, the rise of forensic anthropology, yearbook of physical anthropology. 2. New perspectives in forensic anthropology, Dirkmatt et al 2008. - Traditional: There were a number of phases that we now call traditional. The roots of forensic anthropology go back to the 1800s with Thomas Dwight. Later researchers, notably Krogman and Snow, ushered in a period when anthropologists were developing methods for aging, sexing, stature estimation, and ancestry, and they developed the foundation for establishing biological identity from skeletonized remains. They often used skeletal collections composed of remains with known data to estimate the parameters from skeletal remains. Also, war dead collections were used to determine stature. - Thomas Dwight is considered the father of American forensic anthropology. He was the first to give lectures and write articles on the topic of human skeletal identification. His publication was in 1878.- Dr. Krogman wrote an FBI manual called guide to the identification of human skeletal material in 1939. It ushered in the modern period of forensic anthropology. Later in the coalescent period, physical anthropologists working in WWII dead developed individuation methods such as stature estimations. - Dr. Charles Snow is a forensic anthropologist who contributed to the formative, coalescent, and modern periods. He was the first director of the CILHI and was a founding member of the forensic anthropology section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. In the modern period he initiated/established the role of forensic anthropologists in mass disasters and human rights cases. - Key events in the traditional phase: Anthropology became a section of the American academy of forensic sciences in 1972. Diplomate status (exams) were established in 1977. By the mid-1980s, there were 91 members of the anthropology section of the AAFS in 1987 from a founding group of 12. Anthropology articles in the journal of forensic sciences predominantly focused on methods to establish biological identity. In the 1988 article by Iscan, most is devoted to a review in the construction of the basic biological profile from skeletal tissues (only laboratory derived observations of the skeleton). There was little discussion of crime scene evidence recovery or taphonomy, and as of 1988, the role of the forensic anthropologist has yet to be fully understood by both anthropologists and the medicolegal system. Forensic anthropologists usually only worked on bone to address fundamental questions and were not necessarily asked to attend the crime scene during the traditional phase. - Forensic anthropology: Forensic anthropologists are trained in techniques of human biological identification age, sex, stature, and race (Krogmans big four). There is more variation within populations than between populations. Populations vary in their sexual dimorphism, bone development, and proportions, making it difficult to apply a standard developed in one population to another population. Forensic anthropologists apply many methods in
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