2 Forensic Anthropology the study of human skeletal remains to determine sex, age, race, and time of death in an effort to identify an individualDefinition has been expanded to include these subtopics:forensic taphonomy – interpretation of outdoor death scenesforensic archaeology – recovery of scattered or buried remainsnewer topics of facial reconstruction and age progression“Anthros” is Greek for humankind or man and logos means “the study of.”
3 Forensic Anthropology Pictures courtesy of Charles Comer
4 Determination of Sex Pelvis best females have wider subpubic angle females have a wider sciatic notchfemales have a broad pelvic inletFemales have a larger pelvic brim
5 Determination of Sex Pelvis best females have wider subpubic angle females have a wider sciatic notchfemales have a broad pelvic inlet
6 Determination of Sex Cranium second best Crests and ridges more pronounced in males (A, B, C)Chin significantly more square in males (E)Jaw (I, E), mastoid process wide and robust in malesForehead slopes more in males (F)
7 Other bones are not usually as good an indicator regarding sex Determination of SexOther bones are not usually as good an indicator regarding sex
8 Determination of RaceThe cranium is the only reliable bone and, even then, can only tell general category as below:‘Mongoloid’ (all of Asian and Native American decent)wider cheekbones, concave incisors,width between eyes greatest‘Black’ (everyone of African and West Indian decent)more prominent ridges, wider nasal opening‘White’ (Caucasian and Hispanic decent)narrow everything
9 epiphyseal fusion varies with sex and is typically complete by age 25 Determination of Age from BonesAges 0-5: teeth are best – forensic odontologyAges 6-25: epiphyseal fusion – fusion of bone ends to bone shaftepiphyseal fusion varies with sex and is typically complete by age 25Ages 25-40: very hard, can use pubic symphysisAges 40+: periodontal disease, arthritis, breakdown of pelvis, occupational stress, unique clues
10 Determination of Age from Bones Occupational stress wears bones at jointsSurgeries or healed wounds aid in identification
11 Determination of Stature from Bones Long bone length (femur, tibia, humerus) is proportional to heightThere are tables that forensic anthropologists use.For example:Femur length Predicted Height41 cm cm (5’6”)50 cm cm (6’1’)Males: (1.88 x femur length in inches)Females: (1.945 x femur length in inches)
12 Dating Human Skeletal Remains Under the right conditions, bodies can be reduced to a skeleton in as little as three weeksLaboratory TestsImmunology tests can indicate if body is a few months old or lessBlood pigments last less than 10 yearsIdentification of amino acids possible if less than 100 yrs old (fluorescence)Percentage of nitrogen in bones (new is about 4.5%) – bones lose about 0.006% a yearCarbon dating for bones centuries old
13 Facial Reconstruction 1. Obtain skullDetermine demographic information(female, Caucasian, early 40s)Note unique features(had lost all back teeth on upper and lower jaw)Anything known about this individual?(came to U.S. by boat in from Europe, died and buried in NY around 1733)
14 3. Begin to add common fat deposits and underlying muscles Facial ReconstructionAdd tissue depth markersBased on largely on sex and race3. Begin to add common fat deposits and underlying muscles
15 Facial Reconstruction 4. Add muscle to average depth for race5. Add skin, nose, ears6. Add features related to age and race (wrinkles, eye and hair color)
16 Facial Reconstruction 7. Add clothing etc appropriate for the time period, religious affiliations, etc
18 Photo of 2.5 year old male abducted by a family member Age ProgressionPhoto of 2.5 year old male abducted by a family memberAge progression drawing using parents and siblings as a guide. It had been 15 years since the abduction so the subject was aged to 18 years of age.
19 Drawing led to tips and identification of the victim Age ProgressionDrawing led to tips and identification of the victimAge progression drawing using parents and siblings as a guide. It had been 15 years since the abduction so the subject was aged to 18 years of age.
20 Drawing led to tips and identification of the victim Age ProgressionDrawing led to tips and identification of the victimAge progression drawing using parents and siblings as a guide. It had been 15 years since the abduction so the subject was aged to 18 years of age.
21 Forensic Odontology identification of bite marks on victims comparison of bite marks with teeth of a suspectidentification of unknown bodies through dental recordsage estimations of skeletal remainsvictim identification through DNA analysis
23 Physical Characteristics Forensic Odontology – Bite MarksPhysical Characteristicsdistance from cuspid to cuspidtooth alignmentteeth width, thickness, spacingmissing teethwear patterns including chips and grindingdental history including fillings, crowns, etc.
24 (L-aspartic acid D-aspartic acid with time) Forensic Odontology – Age DeterminationNeonatal Line – allows forensic odontologists to determine if a child was alive at birthRatio of L-aspartic acid to D-aspartic acid (+/- 1.5 years)(L-aspartic acid D-aspartic acid with time)Gustafson’s Method – six signs of wear including dentin density and transparency (+/- 4 years)
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