Anthropometry Lab Rev. 2 w o

Anthropometry Lab - Experiment 9.1 Forensic Anthropology The Measurable You Introduction Anthropology uses a series of measurements that express

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Experiment 9.1: Forensic Anthropology: The Measurable You Introduction Anthropology uses a series of measurements that express quantitatively the dimensions and variability of the human body and skeleton. Biological Anthropology may lay claim to mthe measurement of bones as the basic tool of the field, but it has a long tradition of use in forensic sciences. Although the measurements taken in this lab are performed on a living body, the significance and importance of somatometry, cephalometry, craniometry and osteometry in the identification of human remains is being developed, as is the forensic anthropology in general. Despite the limited forensic science methods available at the time, investigators were able to gain a general physical description of Jack the Ripper from alleged eyewitness accounts. The serial killer was believed to be a white male, between 20 and 40 years of age, well dressed, average or below average height, and possibly a foreigner. Through examination of the victims’ wounds, they concluded that he was right-handed and did have some medical expertise. Since he claimed his victims on the weekend in the early morning hours, it was believed that he worked a regular job and that he was single (he could stay out all night without being questioned). Objectives The objective of this laboratory is to determine several physical anthropological indices based on body measurements. Background Taxonomy refers to us as Homo sapiens , a species with identifiable traits, and yet, no two individuals are probably exactly alike in all their dimensions, even genetically identical twins differ in some respects. During a lifetime of development, outside influences will alter the body in varying degrees. Health, genetics, disease, diet, and geography can all alter the skeletal proportions of the human body. Having a means of giving quantitative values to the body, or more specifically the skeleton, allows these variations to be identified, studied, and used by scientists. The use measurements in the field of forensic science and medicine dates back to 1882 when Alphonse Bertillon invented a system of criminal identification based on bone and body feature measurements. His Anthropometry: Measurable You 1 Copyright James T. Spencer 2004 Figure 1. Vitruvian man by Da Vinci.
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system was based on three fundamental ideas - the fixed condition of the bone system from about the age of twenty until death; the extreme diversity of dimensions present in the skeleton of one individual compared to those in another; the ease and relative precision with which certain dimensions of the bone structure of a living person can be measured using simply constructed calipers. Bertillion’s system was originally developed to identify repeat offenders and to assess the potential of an individual for criminal behavior – things that have been long abandoned in forensic science. But, careful measurements of the human skeleton has an important place in forensic anthropology today in determining the biological profile of a set of skeletal remains.
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This note was uploaded on 03/01/2012 for the course CHE 113 taught by Professor Spencer during the Spring '08 term at Syracuse.

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Anthropometry Lab - Experiment 9.1 Forensic Anthropology The Measurable You Introduction Anthropology uses a series of measurements that express

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