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A Journal on Forensic Medicine
Minerva Medicolegale 2005 September;125(3):127-37
Forensic anthropology and crime scene investigation
Forensic anthropology is the study and application of anthropological techniques and skills to assist in a police or coroner/medical examiner's investigation. It includes: 1) searching for human remains; 2) documenting the location and position of the remains and other potential evidence; 3) interpreting the evidence from the crime scene with respect to the body, grave, and environment; 4) recovering the remains; 5) analyzing the skeleton to effect an identification and provide evidence of manner and mode of death; 6) presenting expert testimony in court. The goals of a forensic anthropological analysis are to: 1) uncover the events surrounding the death of the individual and the disposition of the body; 2) identify the remains; 3) contribute to the analysis of manner and mode of death; 4) effectively communicate the findings to the police, coroner/medical examiner, judge, and jury. Thus, forensic anthropologists combine expertise in field, lab, and forensic techniques to assist in medico-legal investigations of victims and the circumstances surrounding their deaths.