Anthropology How An Anthropologist Knows There Are Essay


Anthropology How an Anthropologist Knows

There are many different ways anthropologists can gather information and draw conclusions about the artifacts they encounter. Even when confronted with two very similar female skeletons from the same period, a skilled anthropologist will likely be able to make certain determinations about the people that these skeletons belonged to back when they were animated and covered in softer tissues. Features of the skeletons themselves as well as other artifacts found on or near the skeletons can also provide clues as to their identity -- not their names or other highly specific information (at least, not in most cases), but possibly their occupation familial role(s), station in society, and especially their socioeconomic status. The next few paragraphs will outline several ways in which an anthropologist can come to these and other conclusions about a skeleton from a simple examination.

There are three main types of forensic anthropology...


The first branch of forensic anthropology, forensic osteology, deals specifically with an examination of the bones themselves -- evidence of wear or trauma in certain areas, changes in bone density or elongation that can evidence biological as well as environmental factors, and more (Gale, 2006; Jones et al., 2008; Warren, 2008). Economic status might be guessed at based on evidence of under-nutrition, common in poorer people pretty much across all time periods and cultures, or on certain patterns of prolonged stress that could suggest a certain type of labor occupation, which would also associate the skeleton with a lower socioeconomic class (Jones et al., 2008; Penn, 2011).
In the second type of forensic anthropology that can be brought to bear on skeletal analysis, forensic archaeology, examines not only the skeleton itself…

Sources Used in Documents:


Gale. (2006). Skeletal analysis. Accessed 8 December 2011.

Jones, K., Katzenberg, M. & Saunders, S. (2008). Biological Anthropology of the Human Skeleton. New York: Wiley.

Penn. (2011). Applied forensic anthropology. Accessed 8 December 2011.

Warrne, M. (2008). The Forensic Anthropology Laboratory. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Westport. (2011). Analysis of skeletal remains. Accessed 8 December 2011.

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