Forensic Resurrection of a Skeleton
Department of Clinical Laboratory & Nutritional Sciences
University of Massachusetts Lowell
In this case study, a forensic anthropologist must determine the age and sex as well as look for signs of trauma to a skeleton found in a shallow grave in a state park. Students simulate the actual procedures used in a forensics lab and learn to identify bones, landmarks, and anatomical features associated with sex, age, height, and pathology. The case was developed for use in a freshman-level human anatomy and physiology course. It could also be used in biology, anatomy, and anthropology courses.
- To analyze the individual bones of the skeleton and their landmarks.
- To determine the sex of a skeleton from pelvic morphological distinctions.
- To determine the sex of a skeleton from skull morphological distinctions.
- To analyze bones to determine height estimations.
- To estimate the age of bones of individuals based on morphological changes.
- To evaluate bones for pathological and physiological changes.
KeywordsSkeleton; skeletal remains; bony landmark analysis; pelvic morphology; skull morphology; sex determination; height determination; age determination; forensic anthropology
Educational LevelHigh school, Undergraduate lower division
Type / MethodsLaboratory
Subject HeadingsAnatomy | Anthropology | Biology (General) | Forensic Science |