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  1. #1
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    Bones & Forensic Anthropology

    I am not a Forensic Anthropologist. I am a Radiologic Technologist (X-ray Tech). I worked in the field for 35 years. I have x-rayed many a bone. I have also x-rayed body bags and worked with a coroner. I am going to try to put together some information that would be helpful for our UID Reference section.

    http://anthro.palomar.edu/time/time_1.htm

    People often think of fossils as being mineralized bones or shells stored in museums. However, they can be any remains or traces of ancient organisms. They even can be footprints, burrows, or casts of bodies with nothing else surviving. Some of the best preserved fossils were rapidly frozen in permafrost soil or ice, dehydrated in dry desert caves, or encased in tree resin that hardened into amber. In any of these three environmental conditions, even soft body parts can be remarkably well preserved indefinitely.

    Several wooly mammoths that lived during the last ice age have been excavated from frozen tundra soil in Siberia. Some were still in such good condition, that parts of their bodies were fed to the dogs of the Russian scientists who found them. One small mammoth was even transported intact to Moscow where it is kept in a specially made large freezer that allows it to be displayed for the general public. The oldest frozen human remains were discovered on the edge of a glacier in the Alps of northern Italy in 1991. It was a well preserved body of a man, along with his clothes and tools, who died about 5,300 years ago. Even tattoos on his skin were preserved by the extreme cold.

    The mummies of ancient Egypt were preserved by extreme, continuous dehydration. The complicated mummification practices used to prepare the bodies of important people only accelerated the dehydration, but it was not necessary in the dry conditions of Egypt. Mummies from other cultures have been found in deserts around the globe. Some of the best preserved ones were discovered in the Tarim Basin of Western China.

    Bodies of people submerged in stagnant swamps or bogs in Denmark and the British Isles thousands of years ago have also been found in remarkably good condition with their soft tissues intact. They were preserved naturally by cold anaerobic environments and by tannins with antibiotic properties released from decaying plants in the swamps. The bodies were essentially tanned like shoe leather. These conditions are hostile for bacteria and other organisms that normally reduce organic matter to basic soil nutrients in a matter of months.

    Some of the topic's to be covered. (These might take awhile to cover.)

    Differences between male and female skeleton.
    How to determine skeletal age.
    Epiphysial plate, physis, or growth plate
    Arthritis and Disease processes.
    Tooth eruption and wear patterns.
    Decompositon.

  2. #2
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    What is Forensic Anthropology.

    Forensic anthropology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Forensic anthropology is the application of the science of anthropology in a legal setting—most often physical anthropology and human biology in criminal cases (FBI, CIA and military) where the victim's remains are in the advanced stages of decomposition. A forensic physical anthropologist can assist in the identification of deceased individuals whose remains are decomposed, burned, mutilated or otherwise unrecognizable. The adjective "forensic" refers to the application of this subfield of science to a court of law.

    A broad definition of "forensic" anthropology includes forensic cultural anthropology or ethnology, forensic linguistics, and forensic archeology, indeed any and all anthropology applied in judicial settings, both criminal and civil.
    Last edited by KateB; 04-06-2015 at 12:11 AM. Reason: repair url tag.

  3. #3
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    What is the difference between a male and female skeleton.

    The only difference between a male and female human skeleton model is that the female has a more rounded pelvis, but in fact there are many subtle differences between male and female skeletons.



    http://human-skeleton-model-review.t...skeletons.html

    Girls mature faster than boys. We have all heard that before. It is not only true about emotional maturity. But bone maturity also.

    The bones in a female body complete their development sooner than those in the male body. Female bones complete their development around age 18, while men’s bones continue to mature until around age 21. This is part of the explanation behind the difference in the average size of male and female bones—as the male bones continue to grow and develop longer, they also become larger (on average) and have more pronounced corners. Thus, the relative size of several key features can be used to identify a male vs. female skeleton. In males, the jaw bone is generally larger and more pronounced, and the brow is taller. Male skeletons also generally have longer, thicker bones in the arms, legs and fingers.

  4. #4
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    http://anthropology.si.edu/writtenin...le_female.html

    This table outlines the differences between a male and female pelvis.



    Male


    narrower, heart-shaped pelvic inlet
    ◾narrower sciatic notch
    ◾narrower angle where the two pubic bones meet in front

    Female

    ◾open, circular pelvic inlet
    ◾broader sciatic notch
    ◾wider angle where the two pubic bones meet in front
    ◾more outwardly flared hip bones

    Fact:
    ◾Sex-related skeletal features are not obvious in children's bones. Subtle differences are detectable, but they become more defined following puberty and sexual maturation.

  5. #5
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    Skeletal Age.

    HWM (Hand Wrist Method)

    http://www.hss.edu/BoneAge.asp
    http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpt...f-skeletal-age

    CVM (Cervical Vertebral Maturation)

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19815140
    http://www.moroortodontia.com.br/lei...vmseminars.pdf

    Epiphysial plate, physis, or growth plate
    Epiphyseal plate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Epiphysial Chart (Ossification)

    Femur:
    The 3 epiphyses/growth plates at upper end fuse at 18years
    The 1 epiphysis/growth plate at lower end fuse at 20 years

    Tibia:
    Upper end fuses at 16-18 years
    Lower end fuses at 15-17 years

    Humerus:
    Upper end during 20th year
    Lower end at about 16 years

    Radius:
    Upper end during 18th year
    Lower end at 20 years
    Last edited by KateB; 04-06-2015 at 12:11 AM. Reason: repair url tag.

  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    As you can see, age determination is not an exact science.

  8. #8
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    As we grow older, our facial bones including our eye sockets, nose and upper jaw continue to change. For example, our eye sockets enlarge, and the angle of the bones beneath our eyebrows decreases which could contribute to the formation of frown lines on our foreheads, "crow's feet" at the corners of our eyes and droopy lower eyelids.

  9. #9
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    How Facial Bones Change as We Age

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zC2fGKNYUac

  10. #10
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    Based on the dental evidence, what is the age of the skeleton?

    http://anthropology.si.edu/writtenin...fy_the_age.pdf

    http://anthropology.si.edu/writteninbone/young_old.html


    Analysis of Skeletal Remains - Worksheet

    In this activity, skeletons will be examined for how they vary according to the following:


    •Gender (based on the pelvis & skull)


    •Race (based on the maxilla, and other characteristics of the skull)


    •Age (based on general characteristics)


    •Height (calculated based on the length of individual bones)

    http://shs2.westport.k12.ct.us/foren..._worksheet.htm


  11. #11
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  12. #12
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    http://shs2.westport.k12.ct.us/forensics/default.htm

    The Crime Lab

    "Wherever he steps, whatever he touches, whatever he leaves, even unconsciously, will serve as a silent witness against him. Not only his fingerprints or his footprints, but his hair, the fibers from his clothes, the glass he breaks, the tool mark he leaves, the paint he scratches, the blood or semen he deposits or collects. All of these and more, bear mute witness against him. This is evidence that does not forget. It is not confused by the excitement of the moment. It is not absent because human witnesses are. It is factual evidence. Physical evidence cannot be wrong, it cannot perjure itself, it cannot be wholly absent. Only human failure to find it, study and understand it, can diminish its value."

  13. #13
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    http://www.jenjdanna.com/blog/2011/1...al-victim.html

    ◾Pre-pubescent: The skeletons of children and teenagers are in a constant state of flux.1.Infant fontanelles close with the union of cranial bones.
    2.Long bones are constantly growing, allowing for increased limb length.
    3.The growth plate of long bones is constantly laying down new bone until maturity is reached; at this point, the end of the bone fuses to the shaft, terminating growth.
    4.Teeth are lost and new teeth form and erupt in their place.



    ◾Adult: Due to the lack of growth in the post-pubescent years, age determination of adults is slightly more difficult, but there are several very valuable characteristics.1.The surface of the pubic symphysis (where the two halves of the pelvis meet at the front of the body) changes significantly over time, with those changes continuing into the senior years.
    2.Similar changes are seen at the auricular surface of the ilium (the hip bone).
    3.The medial rib ends (at the center of the body, where the ribs join with the sternum) also change with age, both the surface of the bone as well as the shape.
    4.The sutures in the skull and palate finally fuse, and, with time, become completely obliterated.

  14. #14
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    http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetect...rom-skeletons/

    Wrist

    Examine the wrists, as bones often hold clues to the primary work of the decedent. Bony ridges form where the muscles were attached and pulled over the years. A forensic anthropologist might find a bony ridge on the wrist and decide the dead person may have been someone who used their hands for a living, such as a chef or seamstress.

    DNA

    DNA samples may be taken from any existing hair tissue. As well as positively identifying someone, it can also identify a person's race or tribal origins.

    Bugs

    When the skeleton is first discovered, take samples from around the remains including any bugs you come across. Insects such as blowflies have a very distinct lifecycle and often plant their eggs on newly deceased bodies. By identifying the stage of the lifecycle, a near-exact time of death can be established. This science is known as forensic entomology.

    (The coroner that I knew talked about measuring maggots, to help determine how long a person had been dead)


  15. #15
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    The housefly life cycle closely mirrors that of most insects: a basic cycle that begins with an egg, then develops through a larva phase, a pupa phase, and finally, into an adult. During a warm summer -- optimal conditions for a housefly -- the cycle, from fertilized egg to adult, spans a mere seven to 10 days.

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