Decribing Forensic Anthropology in the book "Dead Men Do Tell Tales" by William Maples. Forensic anthropology is the examination of skeletal remains.

Essay by lemonadefreak3High School, 10th grade April 2003

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Forensic Anthropology

"They are speaking secrets to me and to my students, yielding up hidden information, furnishing ideas and evidence to the world of the living" (Maples 33). This is a quote from the book Dead Men Do Tell Tales, written by Williams R. Maples, Ph.D. He is referring to bones and how many stories they can tell to Forensic Anthropologists. Forensic anthropology is the examination of skeletal remains. This examination can be used to first determine if the remains are in fact human. Then the forensic anthropologist can determine the gender, approximate age, physical build, and likely racial link of the person in life. The identification of skeletal badly decomposed, or otherwise an unidentified human remains is important for both legal and civilized reasons. Forensic anthropologists often work in concurrence with forensic pathologists, odontologists, and homicide investigators to identify a decedent, discover evidence of foul play, and/or the postmortem time.

"I often go to Sears and look at the tools there to see if any match up to the holes in the skulls that come to this laboratory"(24). There are many different ways to identify skeletons; including finding a tool that matches a hole in a skull of a victim. Also, just by looking at skull, many forensic anthropologists can tell the age, sex, race and physical build of a victim, just by their own knowledge. From just one bone William concluded this: "'I found the individual is a male, probably from Asia and in his late twenties and of short stature'"(109). Amazingly, from just his own knowledge he found the most important details needed in identifying skeletal remains. William Maples, the author of the book I choose to read, also uses x-rays. "More than any other of my colleagues I use x-rays. They are extremely...