Unit 3 assessment: forensic resurrection of a skeleton

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The body can tell us many things about the life of a person. Lab analysis on human blood can reveal insight into diet, lifestyle, propensity for disease, as well as hundreds of years of ancestral lineage.

In death, the body is as equally telling as the body systems and tissues have distinct characteristics and norms. Factors such as the cause and time of death, sex, and age can be determined through a post-mortem examination.

Instructions:

In this case study, assume the role of a forensic anthropologist that must examine a skeleton found in a shallow grave in a state park. You will research and simulate the actual procedures used within a forensics lab to determine the age, sex and height of a skeleton, as well as learn to identify bones, landmarks, and anatomical features associated with sex, age and height of a skeleton. Further, you will research and simulate the varying levels of pathological and morphological changes used within forensics anthropology to help determine both cause and time of death.

  • Read the attached case study, Dem Bones to set the scene
  • Prior to reading the case study, read through the list of questions below and keep these in mind as you complete the reading.
  • After the reading, begin researching and examining the individual bones of the skeleton and their landmarks, according to forensic anthropology techniques, and determine the following, providing rationale for each determination:
    • Describe in detail how the sex of a human skeleton can be determined based upon pelvic, skull and femur morphological distinctions.
    • Based upon forensic anthropological techniques, describe how the height of a skeleton can be determined when the human skeleton is no longer fully intact.
    • Based upon forensic anthropological technique, describe in detail how the age of a skeleton can be determined.
    • Discuss how pathological and morphological changes within bone might help a forensic anthropologist determine both a cause and a theoretical timeline of death.
    • Discuss how varying changes observed within the levels of organization in the body after death can help a forensic anthropologist to determine both a cause and time of death, i.e., organ temperature (liver), water or smoke present/absent within the lungs, level of skin slippage, decay and tissue healing (bruising, petechial haemorrhaging on the conjunctiva, ligature marks, etc.).
  • Compile all results in a document for submission.

Please be sure to validate your answers with citations and references in APA format.



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