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Winterim 2018

Anthropology Courses:

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ANT118 - Forensic Anthropology

Credits: 3

Catalog Description: Examines human skeletal remains in the context of medicolegal issues. Analyzes the scientific evidence of skeletal or badly decomposed remains in order to establish circumstances of death and identification of the decedent by estimating age, gender, racial affinity, stature, pathologic conditions, and traumatic injury. Introduces human osteology, and presents methods and techniques used in forensic anthropology. Discusses case reports, contexts in which remains are found, and methods of recovery.

Lecture: 3 hrs.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs):
Upon successful completion of this course, as documented through writing, objective testing, case studies, and classroom discussion, the student will be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of the basic concepts involved in a forensic anthropology analysis by:

a.Describing the determinations of forensic anthropology.
b.Define the term osteology and its relation to forensic anthropology
c.Explaining the appropriate procedure and bone(s) to use to create a biological profile of unidentified human skeletal remains.*
d.Describing how a forensic context is established.
e.Discussing the techniques used to establish a positive identification of unidentified skeletal remains.

2.Demonstrate knowledge of the role of the physical anthropologist in the medicolegal death investigation system and in non-forensic settings by:

a.Listing the types of agencies or institutions where anthropologists are employed.
b.Discussing the qualifications of a forensic anthropologist.
c.Describing other ancillary investigative specialties with which forensic anthropologists typically work.
d.Describing spheres of forensic anthropology.

3.Demonstrate knowledge of the procedures involved in creating a biological profile of human skeletal remains by:

a.Identifying at least 40 of the 206 bones in the human skeleton.*
b.Differentiating human from non-human bone specimens.
c.Preparing a dental chart of human dentition.
d.Describing the methods and bones used to determine age, sex, ancestry, and stature.
e.Explaining the difference between ante- peri- and postmortem trauma to bone.
f.Explaining taphonomy and indications of environmental alteration of bone.


4.Demonstrate knowledge of bone biology and skeletal growth and development by:

a.Describing bone cell types and their functions.
b.Explaining the growth of a long bone.
c.Describing the functions of the skeleton.
d.Explaining the components of a joint and basic joint terminology.

5.Demonstrate communication skills appropriate to forensic anthropology analyses by:

a.Communicating information orally in an effective manner.
b.Presenting written information employing proper grammar, spelling and structure.
c.Preparing a skeletal analysis report.
d.Synthesizing and presenting information from a scholarly, peer-reviewed article as it relates to an aspect of anthropological analysis.


* This course objective has been identified as a student-learning outcome that must be formally assessed as part of the College's Comprehensive Assessment Plan. All faculty teaching this course must collect the required data (see Assessing Student Learning Outcomes form) and submit the required analysis and documentation at the conclusion of the semester to the Office of Assessment and Special Projects


Content Outline:
I. Course Overview and Assignments

II. Intro to Forensic Anthropology
Bone Biology

III. Human Osteology
Skull, thorax, vertebrae, arm

IV. Human Osteology
Dentition, pelvis, leg, hand & foot

V. Methods of Analysis I
Human/Non-human
Forensic vs. Historical

VI. Methods of Analysis II
Sex and Age

VII. Methods of Analysis III
Ethnicity and Stature

VIII. Pathology and Disease

IX. Skeletal Trauma

X. Taphonomy & Time Since Death

XI. Methods of Recovery
Scene investigation & recovery

XII. Reconstruction/ Identification

Effective Term: Fall 2009