10 Jul 2011

Forensic Anthropology

Deals with identification and examination of human skeletal remains. Bones degrade at an incredibly slow rate. They can tell:
          -        Sex
          -        Age
          -        Race / Origin
          -        Type of injury (cause of death?)
Forensic anthropologists are often needed to identify victims of a mass disaster such as air crashes, 9/11 WTC disaster, bombings, etc.

Ways to tell 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
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 
        Sometimes forensic anthropologists have to use Facial Reconstruction artists to help identify the remains.


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