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What is forensic anthropology


Forensic anthropology

is one of the branches of anthropology. Since anthropology deals with the study of individuals and mankind in its entirety, forensic anthropology is the study of humans in a legal setting.

To put it shortly, forensic anthropology steps in and applies standard (or, in some cases, more creative) scientific methods used in physical anthropology with the purpose of finding out as much information as possible about the victim, and ultimately catching the criminal.

Forensic anthropologists never work alone, and they often work with pathologsts, odontologists and crime scene investigators; they are needed most when the body is an advanced state of decomposition or has suffered some significant alterations.

In the field, forensic anthropologists are often called 'bone detectives'. This happens because a major part of their job is osteology, or the study of bones. Why? Well, bones are extremely tough and durable, compared with other parts from our body, and they can provide much needed information about the victim. For example, they can tell if the victim was a male or a female, the age, the geographical origin, any ilnesses, etc.

Being a forensic anthropologist is extremely demanding, however. You require at least a masters diploma, but preferably a PhD. The forensic anthropology salary isn't small, but it's not really big either - anywhere between $40.000 and $100.000