FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGY. Anthropology? Anthropology is the study of humans, past and present. – Sociocultural Anthropology – Biological (or Physical) Anthropology

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FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGY Slide 2 Anthropology? Anthropology is the study of humans, past and present. Sociocultural Anthropology Biological (or Physical) Anthropology Archaeology Linguistic Anthropology Slide 3 Forensic Anthropology? Forensic anthropology uses the science of physical anthropology and human osteology to assist in solving crimes. Forensic anthropology uses the science of physical anthropology and human osteology to assist in solving crimes. It is especially useful when the victims remains are in the advanced stages of decomposition. It is especially useful when the victims remains are in the advanced stages of decomposition. A forensic anthropologist can assist in the identification of deceased individuals whose remains are decomposed, burned, mutilated or otherwise unrecognizable. A forensic anthropologist can assist in the identification of deceased individuals whose remains are decomposed, burned, mutilated or otherwise unrecognizable. Slide 4 Employment CONSULTING: PART-TIME MEDICAL EXAMINERS OFFICE: FULL-TIME FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Slide 5 First questions asked by a FA Is it even bone? It could be a stone, shell, plastic, or any number of items that look like bone to the naked eye If it is bone, is it human? People bury their pets in their backyards Wild animals die and deposit bones If it is human, what part of the skeleton is it? If it is human how did he/she die - is it a crime scene/cold case? Slide 6 It is rarely this obvious! Anthropologists dont always find intact skeletons Anthropologists dont always find intact skeletons Often times it is just small pieces of bone Often times it is just small pieces of bone Slide 7 How much of this debris is bone? Slide 8 What part of the skeleton is it? Slide 9 We can tell human and animal bones apart by observing: Macroscopic differences: Compare overall measurements of bones Compare measurements of various Ridges Projections Grooves Openings (Foramina) Microscopic differences Compare bone tissue under microscope to determine if osseous tissue is similar Slide 10 Measurements Slide 11 Macroscopic Differences in Bones Baboon femurHuman femur Greater Trocanter Lesser Trocanter Head Medail and Lateral epicondyles (patellar side) Slide 12 Microscopic differences Dinosaur bone thin section Human bone thin section Slide 13 Osteology The study of Human bones and skeletons Slide 14 Osteology uses X-rays Arthritic hands Normal hands Normal foot Foot in high heels Slide 15 Osteology also includes Odontology Slide 16 Dead men tell tales A skeleton or a badly decomposed body can still reveal a lot: A skeleton or a badly decomposed body can still reveal a lot: Sex of decedent Approximate age of decedent Ancestry of decedent Stature of decedent Trauma to decedents body General health/condition of decedent (pathology) Slide 17 Determining Sex of Decedent Slide 18 Sex of Decedent The pelvic girdle is very important in determining sex of decedent The pelvic girdle is very important in determining sex of decedent If the pelvis is not found, the skull can reveal a lot of gender information If the pelvis is not found, the skull can reveal a lot of gender information Slide 19 Sex of Decedent based on Pelvis Female Male (Fibrocartilage) Slide 20 More Pelvis Comparisons Slide 21 Sex of Decedent based on Skull Males have brow ridges in the frontal bone, whereas females have smoother frontal bones without ridges Males have squarer chins and females pointier ones Males have a more acute jaw angle and females have a wider, more obtuse jaw angle Males have a more prominent mastoid process than females They also have a more pronounced ridges in the occipital bone for neck muscle attachment than females Slide 22 Male Female Slide 23 Determining Age At Death Slide 24 Adult vs. Infant skulls Infant skull plates have not merged and formed sutures they still have soft tissue called fontanels Adults have sutures Slide 25 Infant skull vs. Adult skull Slide 26 Adult teeth vs. young teeth Slide 27 How old is this person? Slide 28 Epiphyses Fused = adult An epiphysis is a region of bone growth found at the ends of bone shafts. These regions are not fused to the rest of the bone shaft during the ages of growth. Once growth has ceased, they fuse with the shaft. Usually after the age of 17. Slide 29 The arrows point to gaps between the long bone and the epiphyseal plate. Unfused epiphyseal plate = juvenile (under age 17) Epiphysis Slide 30 Fused Epiphysis Older Even Older No gaps visible Slide 31 Slide 32 Determining Ancestry Slide 33 Ancestry of Decedent The three original races are: Caucasoid, Negroid and Mongoloid The three original races are: Caucasoid, Negroid and Mongoloid However, today human races are no longer pure However, today human races are no longer pure So ancestry is quite difficult to determine from skeletal remains but the skull can shed some light on the matter So ancestry is quite difficult to determine from skeletal remains but the skull can shed some light on the matter Slide 34 Facial Bones of Importance in Determining Ancestry 1. Inter-orbital space 2. Nasal aperture 3. Teeth 4. Mandible What to Compare: Slide 35 Mongoloid/Asian Skull Caucasian/European Skull Negroid/African Skull Aboriginal/Australian Skull Slide 36 Determining Stature Slide 37 Stature Estimation 1. Measure long bone(s) if available 2. Plug values into a formula 3. Range established for stature of decedent e.g. 5 2 5 5 Slide 38 Determining Cause of Death Slide 39 Cause of Death The cause of death is often determined by observing injuries to the skeletal remains. The injury could be: Antemortem before death Perimortem During death (could be the cause of death) Postmortem After death Slide 40 Perimortem Injuries Injury occurred at or around the time of death and may have even caused the death Iron age period male with perimortem sword wound to the skull. Slide 41 Antemortem Injuries Injuries that occurred during the decedent's lifetime they often appear healed. Slide 42 More Antemortem Injuries Slide 43 Postmortem Changes Slide 44 Identifying the Decedent Slide 45 Identification of Body in Good Condition If a body is not badly decomposed or damaged, visual confirmation/identification can be made by one or two people. Comparison of driver's license, passport, or other authoritative photo ID should also be made before confirming personal identification. Reliable identification becomes increasingly difficult as time passes, due to decomposition Slide 46 Identification of Skeletal Remains When skeletal remains are found, and the victim remains unidentified after traditional means of identification fail, investigators may call upon the forensic artist to utilize a technique called 3-D facial reconstruction. When skeletal remains are found, and the victim remains unidentified after traditional means of identification fail, investigators may call upon the forensic artist to utilize a technique called 3-D facial reconstruction. This technique can be done manually or with computers by facial reconstruction professionals This technique can be done manually or with computers by facial reconstruction professionals Slide 47 Determine Tissue Depth Proper tissue depth data is determined by race, gender, and age. Depth pegs are applied to specific spots on the skull Slide 48 Place Clay Strips of Appropriate Thickness The different clay strips will simulate appropriate muscle, connective tissue and skin thickness The different clay strips will simulate appropriate muscle, connective tissue and skin thickness Glass eyes are placed in sockets based on racial information Glass eyes are placed in sockets based on racial information Slide 49 Final touches The clay is smoothed and painted according to racial information The clay is smoothed and painted according to racial information A wig is used based on racial and gender information A wig is used based on racial and gender information Slide 50 The Final Product Authorities release the final images to the public for identification Slide 51 Using Computers for Reconstruction Race, gender, and other information about the skull can be plugged into formulae and a computer application generates an image. Slide 52 Slide 53 The Death of Tut Ankh Amen Case Study 1 Slide 54 POMPEII Case Study 2 Slide 55 Rediscovering Pompeiani Giuseppe Fiorelli took charge of the excavations in 1860. During early excavations of the site, occasional voids in the ash layer had been found that contained human remains. It was Fiorelli who realized these were spaces left by the decomposed bodies and so devised the technique of injecting plaster into them to perfectly recreate the forms of Vesuvius's victims. What resulted were highly accurate and eerie forms of the doomed Pompeiani who failed to escape, in their last moment of life, with the expression of terror often quite clearly visible. This technique is still in use today, with resin now used instead of plaster because it is more durable. Slide 56