In the case study, “Dem Bones: Forensic Resurrection of a Skeleton”, a forensic anthropologist is called out to a crime scene. The forensic anthropologist is “Professor Thomas McCune who specialized in human remains and at the crime scene, he has presented a human femur, which was dug up by a dog” (Bruce 1). He was later shown that the rest of the body had been buried in a shallow grave that had been there for some time. They together tried to search for any kinds of disturbances in the area that could have any clues like clothing.
However, Tom would now have to sift the ground for additional clues and try to determine the age and sex of the individual and look for signs of trauma by looking at the bones. Tom is a forensic anthropologist which is under biological anthropology.
Biological anthropology is the study of humans as biological organisms. More specifically, forensic anthropology is the “study of is the analysis of biological and cultural remains for legal purposes” (Haviland 8).
This is extremely useful because forensic anthropologists can identify human remains and work with the police to help them understand different situations. In this case study, Tom is helping the police with a potential murder case in which the skeletal remains were the only evidence to go off of. He could “analyze the skeleton and identify the gender and the sex of it” (Bruce 2). This would give the police leads and further help the case. Forensic anthropologists have a multitude of uses in which law enforcement would call them for murder victims, missing people, or people who have died in disasters.
They have also helped extremely in the “investigation of human rights abuses in all parts of the world by identifying the victims and recording their causes of death” (Haviland 4). A prominent individual in the forensic anthropology world is Clyde C. Snow. Haviland states, “Mr. Snow studied the remains of General George Custer and his men’s remains from the battlefield of Little Bighorn” (Haviland 9). He also went to Brazil and identified the Nazi war criminal, Josef Mengele, who escaped war crimes and presumed missing. He helps history have a closer look at the battle of Little Bighorn by studying the remains and helped the people be at ease knowing that a criminal finally came to his end. Medical anthropology gives helps with understanding the daily person’s health and what happened in their lives by studying their remains.