Insight into anthropos-logia

What is Forensic Anthropology?

Forensic Anthropology is the study of physical anthropology and osteology (the study of the skeletal system). Forensic anthropologists work in a legal setting, mostly with criminal cases. However, in some cases forensic anthropologists work to identify the remains of discovered individuals from history. Forensic anthropologists assist in the identification of remains, age, sex, race, stature and ancestry.  

To some degree, forensic anthropologists draw on physical anthropology to apply their expertise to skeletal remains. Furthermore, much of what occurs comes from the area of osteology, which is the study of human bones. As part of physical anthropology, an aim is to differentiate human bones from those of animals. As discovered by most physical anthropologists bones of humans have some similarities to animals; however they are distinguished by bone density, shape and size.

Forensic anthropologists assist medical and legal specialists to identify known or suspected human remains. For example, when a skeleton found in a forest is brought to a morgue for examination, the first step is to determine whether the remains are human, animal, or inorganic material. If human, an anthropologist then attempts to estimate age at death, racial affiliation, sex, and stature of the decedent.