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Flashcards in Research in Forensic Anthropology Deck (8)
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What is the purpose of forensic anthropology research?

Expand knowledge of underpinning systems/processes behind changes we observe
Increase accuracy of our analyses
Increase admissibility and validity of the method for court


What are two types of traditional research?

Based on the analysis of skeletal material using direct observations and measurements
Based on devised experiments - taphonomy,, BFT/SFT (blunt force trauma, sharp force trauma)


What are some examples of traditional skeletal collections?

Terry/Todd collection
Korean war dead
Spitalfields collection - clearing christ church crypt
Coimbra or Scheuer collection


What issues may arise from traditional research using these skeletal collections?

Some specimens are undocuments so not got their full background history
Issues with population and demographics
Limited population in time
Deceased specimens - can only give info on that one moment in time
Cause of deaths not known
Admissibility - can info on a past popultion tell you anything about an individual today?


What is taphonomy?

The study of how organisms decay and become fossilised e.g. body farm research


What issues may arise from using devised experiments of humans/animals? (example = body farms)

Your sample size is 1 so not statistically significant
You are only looking at one area and one set of parameters so can't extrapolate
Admissibility - can the results you see on experiments with human 'equivalents' aka pigs/sheep be extrapolated to humans?


What factors cause potential errors when undertaking age estimations?

Individual variation
Variation caused by the influence of external conditions
The method used to undertake age estimation


Where are the body areas used for age estimation?