Trauma Interpretation in the Context of Biological Anthropology

Authored by: Douglas H. Ubelaker , Kristin M. Montaperto

The Routledge Handbook of the Bioarchaeology of Human Conflict

Print publication date:  November  2013
Online publication date:  December  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415842198
eBook ISBN: 9781315883366
Adobe ISBN: 9781134677979


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Forensic anthropology represents a dynamic field attracting increasing numbers of talented and highly motivated students. The field remains firmly associated with academic anthropology and increasingly includes thoughtful experimentation addressing many key issues (Ubelaker 2010). As with other areas offorensic science, anthropology has responded to recent directives from the legal arena (Christensen 2004; Christensen and Crowder 2009; Grivas and Komar 2008; Wiersema et al. 2009) with augmented attention to quantification and objectivity. Although many think of forensic anthropology as a single discipline, it actually involves applications to a variety of forensic issues (Krogman 1962; Stewart 1979). Among these are recovery (Dirkmaat 2002; Morton and Lord 2002), determination of whether evidence is of human origin, personal estimation of age at death, sex, ancestry, post-mortem interval, living stature, identification (Brogdon et al. 2010) and evaluation of evidence of peri-mortem alterations (Pickering and Bachman 2009). Anthropological perspective on ante-mortem and peri-mortem alterations can elucidate evidence for foul play and contribute to determinations of cause and manner of death (Cunha and Cattaneo 2006; Ubelaker et al. 2009).

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