France, Diane L. Human Identification Laboratory, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.
Last reviewed:June 2019
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- In the laboratory
- Minimum number of individuals
- Determination of sex
- Determination of age
- Determination of ancestry
- Stature estimation
- Disease, trauma, and time since death
- Facial approximation
- Photo superimposition
- Positive identification
- In the field
- Identification of scattered remains
- Recovery of buried remains
- Burned bodies and mass fatality incidents
- Training in forensic anthropology
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The application of physical anthropology theory and techniques to medicolegal questions. Forensic anthropology may also pertain to subdisciplines of anthropology, such as cultural anthropology, biological/physical anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics. Forensic anthropologists use skeletal clues to determine the circumstances surrounding the death (see illustration). They also may use skeletal features in other studies, such as comparing a photograph of an individual to skeletal remains or multiple photographs of living individuals to determine whether they all depict the same individual. Experts in this field may even use skeletal clues to determine the circumstances surrounding the death of nonhuman remains. See also: Anthropology; Physical anthropology
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