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Chapter 14. Human Remains and Forensic Anthropology. Unit Objectives. distinguish between a female and a male skeleton give an age range after examining unknown skeletal remains describe differences in skull features among the three major racial categories

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chapter 14

Chapter 14

Human Remains and Forensic Anthropology

unit objectives
Unit Objectives
  • distinguish between a female and a male skeleton
  • give an age range after examining unknown skeletal remains
  • describe differences in skull features among the three major racial categories
  • estimate an individual’s height by measuring long bones
  • use technology and mathematics to improve scientific investigations and communications
  • identify questions and concepts that guide scientific investigations
  • communicate and defend a scientific argument
slide3

Forensic Anthropology is a type of applied anthropology that specializes in the changes and variations in the human skeleton for the purpose of legal inquiry.

forensic anthropology continued
Forensic Anthropology, continued
  • A forensic anthropologist may provide basic identification information on skeletonized or badly decomposed remains.
  • From a whole bone or part of a bone, the scientist may be able to determine:
    • An age range
    • Gender
    • Race
    • Approximate height
    • Cause of death, disease, or anomaly
osteology the study of bones
Osteology: the study of bones
  • There are 206 bones in the average adult human body.
  • Functions of bones include:
    • Provide structure and rigidity
    • Protect soft tissue and organs
    • Serve as an attachment for muscles
    • Produce blood cells
    • Can detoxify the body by removing heavy metals and other foreign elements from the blood
slide6

Bones are held together by:

    • Cartilage – wraps the ends of bones and keeps them from scraping one another
    • Ligaments – bands that connect two or more bones together
    • Tendons – muscle to bone
slide9

Types of Bones

  • Bones are classified according to function:
    • Long – used for large movement; ie: femur
    • Short – for small movement; ie: carpals and tarsals
    • Flat – thin bones usually protect organs; ie: cranium, scapulae, ribs
    • Irregular – used for special functions; ie: vertebrae
    • Sesamoid – usually embedded in tendons, used to protect the integrity of tendons; ie: patella
slide10

Now, time for a jigsaw activity! You will be teaching yourselves and each other the methods used by forensic anthropologists to identify certain characteristics about human skeletal remains 