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- To reconstruct past human populations
- * Not fossils, not species origins (paleoanthropology, paleontology)
- * Culture
Forensic anthropology Goals?
- To create a profile for identification in a medico-legal setting
- * Events surrounding death
- Study of human populations from archaeological sites
- * context informs skeletal biology
- * bones, plants
- * artifacts
- * ethnographic data (if available)
- Reconstruction of history
Ale? Hrdli?ka Smithsonian?
- * 1903-1943: Smithsonian skeletal collection grew from 3000 to 15000!
- * collaboration with archaeologists; excavations
- * Importance of documentation (context)
The New Deal: 1933-1942?
- * skeletal collections grew
- * improved arch methods, increased federal funding, increased cultural awareness
- * Descriptive work
Shift in Focus?
- racial typology
- Problem-oriented research
- underlying reasons
- Quality of life
- * growth & development
- * diet & nutrition
- * disease (paleopathology)
- Behavior & lifestyle
- * activities
- Population history
- * group relatedness
- * migrations
- Interconnected issues!
Growth & development?
- * How fast were individuals growing? Trends?
- * Environmental influences? Stressors?
Diet and nutrition?
- * mode of subsistence; ecology
- * Influence on growth and health
dental caries lesions
- enamel hypoplasia?
- a defect of theteethin which theenamelis hard but thin and deficient in amount.
- Usually the condition involves part of the tooth having a pit in it
apathologicalcondition that affects bones of thecranial vault, and is characterized by localized areas of spongy or porousbonetissue.
a disorder caused by a lack of vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate. It leads to softening and weakening of the bones.
Behavior & lifestyle?
- * Biomechanics: study of form and function using mechanical principles
- * Bone responds to force from physical activity
- o bone form(geometry) leads to infer activity
- * Other influences
- * subsistence
- * climate
- * sex
- Polygenic traits (what forensic anthropologists use)
- * certain traits found in high proportion in certain populations
- o imply shared ancestry
- Genetic distances
- Isotopes: Strontium(Sr)
- * geographical variation in isotope composition
- * place of origin
- 1970s Native American activism
- NAGPRA: Native American Graves Protection & Repatriation Act of 1990
- * all remains and artifacts with cultural affiliation must be returned upon request to the affiliated group
- * Analysis of human skeletal remains resulting from unexplained deaths (anthropology in a medicolegal context)
- * medicolegal: within the last 50 years
- * cases of historical interest
Relationship with military?
Consolidated during WW2 with the need to identify remains of soldiers
- * Is it human?
- * Are the remains recent?
- * Minimum number of individuals (MNI)
- * Ancestry
- * Sex
- * Age
- * Pathologies, Trauma
- * Idiosyncrasies that may help establish identity
- Non-metric method
- FORDISC program
- * likelihood of affiliation
- * depends on reference populations used
- * forces the unknown individual into a group
SEX: ITS 50/50?
- Size sexual dimorphism
- Be wary of population history!
- Dimorphism related to childbirth: more reliable
- Based on growth patterns, timing of events
- Dental eruption sequence: genetically controlled
- Based on degenerative change: Its all downhill from here!
- Less reliable due to more factors affecting degree and rate of degeneration
- * larger estimated age range
- Sharp force
- Blunt force- force over wide area
- Projectile force
- Fire- changes in color, chemical composition, size, shape
- * 2,996 fatalities
- 2004 tsunami
- * 230,000 fatalities