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.