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Introduction- Forensic anthropology is the field of study that deals with the analysis of human skeletal remains resulting from unexplained deaths- Employs the principles of anthropology to analyze legal problems involving human osteological material, it is an applied science that embraces both anthropological and forensic studies- Attempt to accomplish 5 main objectives in their work:1. When demographic characteristics of a body can’t be determined by visual inspection, they attempt to determine ancestry (race or ethnic group), sex, age, and living height from the skeleton2. Attempt to identify the nature of the traumas (bullet holes, stab wounds, fractures) and their causative agents with the intent of gathering information pertaining to the cause and manner of death3. Determine the post-mortem interval (the amount of time that has passed since person died) – examine deterioration of cadavers4. Locate and recover buried or surface remains in such a manner that all evidence relevant to a forensic investigation is collected5. Provide information useful in obtaining positive identifications of deceased persons- Study skeletons of deceased persons (decedents) that the medicolegal community (medical investigators, coroners) has defined as requiring investigation- 50 years is the appropriate period for investigating deaths- Another area where they work is the study of atrocities committed during warfare- Clyde Collins Snow—famous forensic anthropologist that has done much to bring to light the circumstances surrounding the deaths of victims of political violence, as well as helping to organize and educate local authorities on the methods used to investigate atrocitiesHistorical Background- Thomas Dwight (1843-1911) credited the “Father of Forensic Anthropology in the US”First to write articles and essays and give lectures on the topic of human skeletal identification, which was original designation of forensic anthropologyHe researched methods for determining age, height, and sex from the sternum; estimating stature without using bones of arms and legs; determining age at death from closure of joints between bones of the skull; and estimating sex from joints of long bonesFormative Period: Early 1800s to 1938- The origin of this science in the US can be traced to the Parkman murder of 1849, where 2 anatomists first demonstrated the effectiveness of methods regularly used in forensic anthropology today- Parkman murdered by John W. Webster; Webster borrowed money from Parkman and instead of paying back, murdered himOliver Wendell Holmes and Jeffries Wyman were professors at Harvard when they were asked to investigate death- Leutgert case of 1897—Albert Leutgert was accused of killing his wife Louisa and placing her body in a vat of potash in his sausage factoryGeorge A. Dursey was the anthropologist- Ruxton case from Great Britain  murder of 2 women (wife and maid)Glaister and Brash wrote about caseFound bones and compared them to pictures of real-life victimsUsed ratio between portions of the breastbone for proof- Period ended with publication of Guide to the Identification of Human Skeletal Material by KrogmanWritten for FBIConsolidation Period: 1939 to 1971- US Army established the Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii (CILHI) with Charles Snow to help identify the mass amount of dead bodies from World War II- Korean War helped increase the knowledge base of skeletal identificationUS Army established lab in Japan with T. Dale Stewart- T. Dale Stewart worked at the Smithsonian Institution and wrote numerous articles on the aspects of skeletal identificationWrote one of the most influential books: Essentials of Forensic AnthropologyModern Period: 1972 to Present- Considered to have begun when Physical Anthropology Section in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) met for first time in 1972Founding of this section was the result work by Ellis R. Kerley and Clyde Collins SnowAlmost 400 members- 5 years later, the American Board of Forensic Anthropology (ABFA) was created with the purpose of ensuring the competence of persons who practice forensic anthropology in the US, Canada, and their territoriesComposed of 70 diplomats (board certified forensic anthropologists)- Founding of the Forensic Anthropology Data Bank at the University of TennPhysical Anthropology section of AAFS formed a committee that created a computer database of information on modern skeletonsStarted in 1986  collects information on documented forensic cases so that new standards for determining demographic from the human skeleton can be updatedThe data collected here has been used to develop a series of computer programs, called FORDISC, which can be used to calculate ancestry and sex- Founding of the Scientific Working Group for Forensic Anthropology (SWGANTH)Founded in 2008 by the FBI and Department of Defense Central Identification Lab (DOD CIL) to recommend “best practices” in the disciplineForensic Anthropologists and the Medicolegal Community- Main experts in this community  medical examiners, coroners, and forensic pathologistsMedical examiners and coroners have the legal responsibility to certify the deaths of people dying within their jurisdiction when not in the care of a physicianCoroners are elected officials who may, or may not, have medical trainingMedical examiners are licensed physicians who have specialized in forensic workForensic pathologists are medical doctors that perform autopsies** All work with bodies that are “fresh” and still have soft tissue- Once human remains are decomposed, skeletonized, or heavily burned and become “unknown deaths”Forensic anthropology  deals with identification of persons from their skeletonsProvide police with demographic profile of decedents to be checked for missing personsForensic archaeology  use archaeological methods to locate and retrieve human skeletal material while following the rules of evidence established by law enforcement agenciesNot really considered a separate specialtyForensic odontology  dentists who specialize in identifying persons from their teeth; match dental records with decedents’ teethForensic Anthropology and Juriceprudence- Frye v. United States  1923; James Frye found guilty for murder, appealed his conviction based on the trial judge’s exclusion of the results of a “Deception Test”Ruling is credited with developing the “general acceptance” criterion- Federal Rules

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FSU ANT 3520 - Introduction

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