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Flashcards in History of Forensic Anthropology Deck (34)
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Where and in what year did forensic anthropology get its start?

Harvard Medical College, 1949


What event led to the first forensic investigation of remains?

The murder of Dr. George Parkman.


In the Parkman murder, who was the accused killer?

John Webster, a chemistry professor who owed Parkman money.


What was the name of the janitor who claimed to see Parkman and Webster together on the night of the murder?



What was a distinctive feature of Parkman's skull that helped to identify him?

His prominent jaw.


Who were the two anatomists asked to serve as witnesses in the Parkman murder trial?

Oliver Wendell Holmes I and Jeffries Wyman


Who provided the specific evidence identifying Dr. Parkman's remains? What was this evidence?

Nathan Cooley Keep of the Harvard Dental School. He identified a distinctive peculiarity in Dr. Parkman's jaw because he had performed some dental work on him before his death.


In the Luetgaert murder case, what were three pieces of evidence that pointed to Mr. Luetgart?

  1. the purchase of potash and arsenic
  2. a large vat in the basement with four bone fragments in it
  3. a ring engraved with "L.L." also found in the vat


In the Luetgart murder case, who was the expert witness and what did he claim?

George Dorsey; he claimed that the four bone fragments were undoubtedly human and from the foot


After the Luetgart murder trial, what happened to Dr. George Dorsey?

He did not consult on any other cases, but published The skeleton in

medicolegal anatomy. 


Who is considered the father of American forensic anthropology?

Thomas Dwight


In his 1878 essay, what did Dr. Thomas Dwight discuss?

The use of the skeleton to identify stature, sex, and age.


What value do early anatomical collections have to modern researchers?

They can give insight into surgical techniques of the time and the result of diseases like syphillus and tuberculosis in a pre-antiobiotic era.


Where is the Hamann-Todd Collection located?

Western Reserve University, Cleveland


What happened as a result of the Willed Body Law of 1955?

The bodies in anatomical collections were no longer only the disease or unclaimed bodies from morgues. More young people and women donated their bodies, and there were more middle class specimens.


What collection is now housed at the Smithsonian and who put it together?

The Terry Collection, assembled by Dr. Robert Terry and then Mildred Trotter at Washington Univeristy in St. Louis.


What sort of demographic information is generally gathered for modern anatomical collections?

  • Place of birth
  • Medical history
  • Occupation
  • Stature & weight
  • Aging scores
  • Measurements
  • Trauma
  • Congenital traits


Who was the first curator of physical anthropology at the Smithsonian? What else did he do?

Aleš Hrdlička; he also served as an FBI consultant on 37 cases


What publication consolodated the research on human bones and forensics and who was its author?

The Human Skeleton in Forensic Medicine by Wilton Marion Krogman.


What institution was founded during WWI to help identify the remains of servicemen?

The Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii (CILHI)


Who pioneered techniques for determining stature by measuring bones?

Mildred Trotter


Which two organizations merged to help identify all missing Americans from remains and what is the joint organization called?

CILHI and the Joint Task Force Full Accounting (founded to recover MIA soldiers from the Vietnam War) merged to form the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC).


Who succeeded Dr. Hrdlicka at the Smithsonian? What was his major publication?

T Dale Stewart; Essentials of Forensic Anthropology, 1979


Who succeeded T Dale Stewart as the Smithsonian's FBI consultant? What did he help create?

J Lawrence Angel; established a training program for forensic anthropologists in 1970


What is paleopathology?

The study of ancient diseases, usually through the examination of ancient remains.


What body regulates and registers forensic anthropologists?

American Board of Forensic Anthropology, est. 1977


What are five goals of the ABFA?

  1. Study, development, standards
  2. Ethics, professionalism
  3. Credentials of diplomates
  4. Board certified forensic anthropologists
  5. PR
  6. Directory of ‘diplomates’


What is the official name of "the body farm" and what is its goal?

Anthropology Reseach Facility (ARF), established by Bill Bass at the University of Tennessee, seeks to study the process of decay and standardize methods for determining the post-mortem interval for certain processes under particular conditions.


What is forensic taphonomy?

The study of organisms and how they decay or fossilize. It looks at how different tissues deteriorate, what sort of insect activity occurs in a rotting body, and how different environments affect this.


What is the "current" anatomical collection and where is it housed?

The Forensic Data Bank at the University of Tennessee.