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Bones are the framework of the vertebrate body and thus contain much information about man's adaptive mechanisms to his environment. The study of evolution.

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Presentation on theme: "Bones are the framework of the vertebrate body and thus contain much information about man's adaptive mechanisms to his environment. The study of evolution."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bones are the framework of the vertebrate body and thus contain much information about man's adaptive mechanisms to his environment. The study of evolution essentially would be impossible if bones were eliminated as a source of data. In summary, the answer is that bones often survive the process of decay and provide the main evidence for the human form after death. Skeletal evidence also has the potential to provide information on prehistoric customs and diseases. From: "Human Osteology - A laboratory and Field Manual" 3rd Edition, 1987


3 Forensic Anthropology
                       Chapter 18 Forensic Anthropology

4 “Anthropology is the study of humankind, culturally and physically, in all times and places.”
Forensic Anthropology: -is the application of anthropological knowledge and techniques in a legal context. -This involves detailed knowledge of osteology (skeletal anatomy and biology) to aid in the identification and cause of death of skeletal remains, as well as the recovery of remains using archaeological techniques Used to: ????

5 Forensic Anthropology:
Used to: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. first determine if the remains are in fact human. determine the gender approximate age physical stature likely racial affiliation approximate time since death, likely cause of death illnesses or wounds suffered in life. Taphonomy, study of decay This information can then be used to help identify the remains.

6 In humans, locomotion involves the interaction of:
1. Bones 2. Cartilage 3. Muscles 4. Tendons 5. Ligaments

7 Appendicular Skeleton
The Skeletal system Skull Sternum Ribs Vertebral column Axial Skeleton Appendicular Skeleton Metatarsals Metacarpals Phalanges Clavicle Scapula Humerus Radius Pelvis Ulna Carpals Femur Patella Fibula Tibia Tarsals

8 Why study bones?

9 They constitute the evidence for the study of fossil man.
They are the basis of racial classification in prehistory. They are the means of biological comparison of prehistoric peoples with the present living descendents. They bear witness to burial patterns and thus give evidence for the culture and world view of the people studied. They form the major source of information on ancient diseases and often give clues as to the causes of death. Their identification often helps solve forensic cases.

10 Objective: You will be able to discuss the impacts each scientist had on developing the field of forensics.     Do Now: Read p. 2-3 (history and development of forensic science). List the names of former forensic scientists on p. 3. Leave space between each.

11 1a. Sex Determination




15 Male pelvis from female:
spread of ilium: female more flared and cradle-like with anterior iliac spines farther apart vs. more straight “up-and-down” in male shape of hole in ischium: smaller and triangular in female vs. larger and rounded in male Shape of the Obturator Foramen, angle across pubic symphysis = pubic arch: less than 90° (acute angle) and more sharply angled in male, greater than 90° (obtuse angle) and more rounded in female inner diameter and distance between ischia larger in female--big enough for head of baby to pass through

16 Obturator Foramen


18 Male Female

19 Male Female

20 Objective: You will be able to explain how bones can help determine age and sex.
Do Now: Read p (Forensic anthropology) Give all the information that a forensic anthropologists can infer from analyzing bones

21 1b. Age Determination Skull - gross Deciduous dentition
Long bone ossification Subadult vertebra

22 The Calvarium The calvaria (or calva, skullcap) is the upper part of the cranium and surrounds the cranial cavity containing the brain. It is formed by the following bones: frontal bone parietal bones (two) temporal bones (two) occipital bone

23 The Calvarium 1 = coronal suture 2 = sagittal suture
3 = lambdoid suture

24 0-5 years Calvarium

25 Development

26 Aged 31 weeks, 32 weeks, and 40 weeks
Notice, apart from the difference in size, how the fontanels (the soft spots that ultimately become the sutures, or fixed joints between the bones in the skull) change over time, gradually becoming smaller. 

27   Take the following two images, and try to figure out the approximate age of the bottom image

28 If you had a hard time, perhaps it is due to the fact that the 2nd image was of a chimpanzee skull!  In the same way, bear claws are often confused with human hands.  Can you tell which is which?:



31 Dentition 0-5 years




35 1c. Determination Stature

36 1d. Identity Determination

37 1d. Identity Determination
The head of the humerus and glenoid cavity shown in this photograph were in complete contact for many years prior to this individual's death. The surfaces are smooth and shiny, indicating that the joint capsule and cartilage had worn away, allowing bone on bone contact in the cavity.

38 Human Biological Variation
2. Race " is clear that race does mean different things to different people. In the context of forensic anthropology, the term race is unambiguous." - Stan Rhine, PhD Human Biological Variation                          American Negroid                            American Indian                          Caucasoid

39 Human Biological Variation
2. Race Skull can be divided into 4 main human races: Caucasoid Negroid Mongoloid Australoid Caucasoid further divisible into Northern European (Nordic) Central European (Alpine) Southern European (Mediterranean) Human Biological Variation                          American Negroid                            American Indian                          Caucasoid


41 2.Race Determination The metopic suture is generally a Caucasoid trait. This suture is present in the fetus as the cranial bones are forming.

42 Native American European Male Asian Male African Male
Australian Aborigine Male Native American European Male Asian Male African Male

43 These two mandibles are compared for the extent of ramus inversion.
Negroids exhibit moderate to pronounced inversion in the area midway up the posterior edge of the ramus. Caucasoids and Mongoloids show little or no inversion.

44 Caucasian Skull

45 Negroid skull

46 3. Pathology

47 Adult's Wrist and Hand The white lines shown at the end (epiphysis) of the long bones. These areas, called the epiphyseal lines, form when the growth plates turn to bone.

48 Child's Wrist and Hand The clear lines at the end (epiphysis) of the long bones. These areas, which are made of cartilage, are the epiphyseal plates, where growth occurs.

49 In an adult hand (i.e., by the early to mid twenties)the growth plate has completely ossified (turned to bone).  At that point, the bones stop growing.  On the x-ray, these epiphyseal lines will appear as white lines in the same location as the plates were in the child's x-ray

50 Sternal Defect Scoliosis

51 4. Trauma/wounds

52 Machete Wounds, African Male

53 Broad Axe Trauma, Male Spanish Conquistador,
Hammer Wounds Broad Axe Trauma, Male Spanish Conquistador, 1680 AD

54 GSWs, or gun shot wounds, leave tell-tale signs on the skull:

55 Large Caliber GSW

56 Note the fact that the rib started to grow around the
Note the fact that the rib started to grow around the .22 caliber bullet.  That's antemoretem!

57 Reconstruction of the face from the bones of a skull.

58 Entrance

59 Exit wound

60 Inward slant is characteristic of entrance wounds

61 Arrow pointing to entrance, the exit is closest

62 Close range gunshot leaves powder burns

63 Copper stain (b)

64 5. Taphonomy:from the Greek taphos (death),
Study of what happens to an organism after its death and until its discovery as a fossil. This includes decomposition, post-mortem transport, burial, compaction, and other chemical, biologic, or physical activity which affects the remains (bones) of the organism Adipocere Burning Carnivore Insects Natural mummification Faunal

65 5. Taphonomy:

66 Bodies deposited in unoxygenated, wet environments often retain fatty tissues in the form of Adipocere. The hydrolysis of fatty acids produces the waxy substance which may may leave the body in a state of preservation for many decades. Organs such as the eyes, brain and subcutaneous adipose tissue in the face have decomposed into adipocere in this example. 5. Taphonomy: Adipocere

67 5. Taphonomy: Carnivore This is a full view of the damaged femur. Notice how the ends seem to be the preferred part of the bone.

68 5. Taphonomy: Faunal archaeological faunal analysis is determining the origins of bone.

69 This individual was identified when it was found that the amalgam found in her dental work came from only a handful of places along east coast.

70 Dentition: the study of tooth remains
In an adult human there are 32 teeth. On each side of upper and lower jaw (a quadrant) there are 2 incisors, 1 canine, 2 premolars and 2 or 3 molars (depending of wisdom teeth). In children there are 20 teeth. The breakdown is 2 incisors, 1 canine and 2 molars in each quadrant.

71 Paleopathology Congenital Defects (need content)
Infectious Disease (need content) Metabolic Defects (need content) Nutritional Deficiencies (need content) Artificial Deformation (in progress) Fractures (in progress) Blunt and Sharp force injury (in progress) Markers of Occupational stress (need content)

72 FINIS’ Special thanks to





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