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FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGY. “The pathologist’s domain is that of dead bodies; the forensic anthropologist applies his expertise to skeletal remains.”. I – Recovery of Remains II – Skeletal examination III – Forensic identification IV – Reconstructing identity. Legal aspects

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  • I – Recovery of Remains forensic anthropologist applies his expertise to skeletal remains.”

  • II – Skeletal examination

  • III – Forensic identification

  • IV – Reconstructing identity


Recovery of remains

Legal aspects forensic anthropologist applies his expertise to skeletal remains.”

Court order for exhumation

Exact location of burial

Date and time of exhumation

Complete list of persons attending

Scaled sketches of gravesite

Photographs

Burial site

Coffin in situ

Coffin above ground

Recovery of Remains


Clandestinely buried bodies

Helicopters forensic anthropologist applies his expertise to skeletal remains.”

Disturbances of soil or vegetation

Aerial photography with infrared film

Ground search

Sunken area

Damage to vegetation

Steel rod probe

Methane gas detector

Grid pattern

Remove only a few inches of soil at a time

Clandestinely buried bodies


After remains are recovered
After remains are recovered forensic anthropologist applies his expertise to skeletal remains.”

  • Coffin or remains transported to morgue or other facility

  • Careful opening – protect evidence for court


Anthropology research facility

Decay rate facility forensic anthropologist applies his expertise to skeletal remains.”

Mummification – desiccation

Adipocere – “grave wax”

Freezing

Moisture

Even is not in any type of container, bodies will last longer underground

Rule of Thumb for rate of decomp –

One week open air = two weeks in water = eight weeks underground

Anthropology Research Facility


The body farm
“The Body Farm” forensic anthropologist applies his expertise to skeletal remains.”


Skeletal examination

“A person’s job, diet, illness, chronic disease and/or trauma leave their mark on a person’s skeletal remains.”

Skeletal examination


Identification techniques

Morphological analysis trauma leave their mark on a person’s skeletal remains.”

Features

Marked by size and shape

Metric analysis

Hamann-Todd/ Cleveland (3,100)

Terry/Smithsonian (1,600)

Cobb/ Howard University (600)

Identification techniques


Formulas from metric analysis
Formulas from Metric Analysis trauma leave their mark on a person’s skeletal remains.”

  • From collections

  • Forensic Data Bank (FDB) – UT Knoxville in 1980s

  • FORDISC – UT in 1993 and updated periodically – computer program


Anthropological examination

Excavated remains cleaned in forensic lab trauma leave their mark on a person’s skeletal remains.”

Arranged in correct anatomical order

Anthropological Examination



Immature vs mature skeleton
Immature vs Mature Skeleton able to determine

  • Before puberty biological identification of remains can be difficult

    • Bones are mostly cartilage

    • Growth plates not fused

    • Sexual differences not as pronounced

    • Best determinant – skull with dentition


Sex determination pelvis
Sex determination - Pelvis able to determine



Humerus radius femur
Humerus, Radius, Femur able to determine


Sex determination skull
Sex determination - Skull able to determine


Race determination skull
Race determination - Skull able to determine

  • Race determinations

    • Mongoloid

      • Asian

      • Native American Indian

    • Caucasoid

      • White

      • Hispanic

    • Negroid

      • African American


Mongoloid
Mongoloid able to determine


Caucasoid
Caucasoid able to determine


Negroid
Negroid able to determine


Age determination dentition

Characteristics of Dentition able to determine

Less affected by environmental factors

Hardest structure in human body

Tooth buds developing 2nd month after conception

Eruption follows pattern

In Adult skeleton

Resorption of bone

Attrition

Root resorption

Cementum annulation – counting tree trunk rings

Age determination - Dentition


Deciduous eruption
Deciduous eruption able to determine


Permanent eruption
Permanent eruption able to determine



Age skull development
Age – Skull development able to determine

  • 29 bones in the skull

  • Initial fusion few weeks postnatal

  • Continues through age 21 – 35 yrs

  • Mathematical formulas for using sutures to determine age


Height determination long bones
Height determination – Long bones able to determine

  • Rule of thumb – “Height roughly equals 5 times the length of the humerus.”

  • Since it is only an estimate, always have height be a range

  • Formulas

    2.38 (femur length cm)+61.41 = Stature +/- 3.27


Evidence of trauma

Manner of death able to determine

Accident

Suicide

Homicide

Natural causes

Undetermined causes

Cause of death – medical reason for death

Asphyxia

Drowning

Stabbing

Gun shot wound

Etc

Evidence of Trauma


Determine when trauma took place
Determine when Trauma took place able to determine

  • Antemortem – before death

  • Perimortem – around the time of death

  • Postmortem – after death occurred


Antemortem trauma
Antemortem trauma able to determine

  • Bone healing or bone remodeling – depends upon

    • Age/health of individual

    • Nature/extent of injury

    • Location of injury

  • Bone healing has a distinctive look

    • Bony callus

    • Smooth edges

  • Usually no clues as to death


Perimortem trauma

Lesions have no sign of healing able to determine

Perimortem trauma


Postmortem trauma

Intentional dismemberment able to determine

Tool marks left on bone

Unintentional dismemberment

Animal tooth marks left on bone

Postmortem trauma


Burned bone

Short duration fires able to determine

Skeleton usually survives

Cremation

Very small fragments and ash

Differences in prolonged fires with green bones and dry bones

Burned bone


Differences

Green bone – fleshed bones able to determine

Deep transverse fracture lines

Warping

Blackened tissue

Dry bone

Longitudinal fracture line

Superficial cracking

Little warping

Differences


Reconstructing identity
Reconstructing Identity able to determine

  • Forensic Odontology

  • Facial Reconstruction

  • Nuclear or Genomic DNA

  • Mitochondrial DNA


Forensic odontology
Forensic Odontology able to determine

  • Antemortem and Postmortem dental charting and radiographs

    • Missing,unerupted, or extracted teeth; supernumerary teeth

    • Restorations and prostheses

    • Decay


Facial reconstruction

Plastic 3 D reconstruction able to determine

2 dimensional reconstruction

Facial Reconstruction



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