Course Introduction

FSP 505 : Forensics Anthropology

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Forensic anthropology represents a robust, dynamic, and international field that involves interdisciplinary research, diverse applications and is basically a component of physical anthropology i.e. the study of human population from a biological and evolutionary perspective. 


Forensic anthropology uses the methods and goals of physical anthropology to study questions of medico-legal significance. It is one of the eminent areas of study for college students and scientists. Its various subfields are forensic archaeology and forensic taphonomy, in a legal setting. A forensic anthropologist can not only assist in the identification of deceased individuals whose remains are decomposed, burned, mutilated, or otherwise unrecognizable, as might happen in a plane crash. But can also deals with human body measurements, in order to establish the identity of a person aiding in criminal profiling.


The use of anthropology in the forensic investigation of remains grew out of the recognition of anthropology as a distinct scientific discipline and the growth of physical anthropology. Anthropology is a diverse field of study that includes many specialties, or sub-disciplines, that usually fall under the areas of cultural anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, or physical anthropology. The one thing that all anthropologists have in common is that they are interested in the study of human beings. A major component of physical anthropology is the study of the human skeleton or human osteology. Experts during the study of the human skeleton or human osteologists may apply their skills to the fossilized remains of ancestral humans.


Regardless of whether the skeleton is fossilized, prehistoric, historic or modern many of the goals of an osteological analysis are the same: to reconstruct as much as possible about a person's life from a thorough examination of his or her bones after death. This course is designed for apprentices who have an interest in forensic anthropology, it emphasizes the detection, recovery, and identification of human remains within a legal context. It basically focuses on the applied science of forensic anthropology and provides a general introduction to many facets of a forensic anthropologists job.


After studying this you will get an overview of the human skeleton and an introduction to the methods used by forensic anthropologists in the identification and analysis of skeletal remains (e.g., age, death, sex, ancestry, stature, and personal identification). We will also discuss the role of the forensic anthropologist in the investigation of human rights abuses, mass disasters, and criminal investigations.

  • Level I : Forensics Anthropology

    MODULE 1 – FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGY

    Skeletal remains as evidence are frequently encountered in numerous cases and send to laboratories for identification which covers under the broad area of Forensic Anthropology, which is the application of Anthropology. Forensic Anthropologist plays an important role in identifying an individual with the help of skeletal remains. In this particular chapter, scholars will know about the history, scope, and significance of Forensic Anthropology. Scholars can pursue careers as Forensic Anthropologist as it is one of the most interesting fields in which just skeletal remains will help you in determining the victim's age, sex, and ancestry.

    MODULE 3 – SOMATOSCOPY

    Here in this module scholars will get to know more about one of the basic anthropometric measurement technique i.e. Somatoscopy which mainly deals with visual observation of different parts of the human body. In this anthropologist describes those features human morphological body which cannot be observed through metrical analysis.

    MODULE 4 – SOMATOMETRY

    Somatometry is one of another anthropometric measurement techniques which aids in expressing the descriptions through metric values. For this numerous measurements have been formulated by anthropologists for taking faultless measurements on the living and skeleton as well.

    MODULE 5 – OSTEOMETRY

    This course provides a broad overview of Osteometry to the scholar. Osteometry is another anthropometric measurements techniques that deal with measurement of bones, which helps in comparing the skeletons of different populations.

    MODULE 6 – CRANIOMETRY

    The main aim of this course is to provide complete knowledge about Craniometry, which is another anthropometric measurement technique. Craniometry is a measurement of the main part of the skull for establishing the differences between groups of the population. Here in this module scholars will be taught about different instruments used for taking measurements with this, scholars will also come to know about different craniometric techniques used.

  • Level II : Forensics Anthropology

    MODULE 1 – FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGY

    Skeletal remains as evidence are frequently encountered in numerous cases and send to laboratories for identification which covers under the broad area of Forensic Anthropology, which is the application of Anthropology. Forensic Anthropologist plays an important role in identifying an individual with the help of skeletal remains. In this particular chapter, scholars will know about the history, scope, and significance of Forensic Anthropology. Scholars can pursue careers as Forensic Anthropologist as it is one of the most interesting fields in which just skeletal remains will help you in determining the victim's age, sex, and ancestry.

    MODULE 2 – HUMAN OSTEOLOGY

    The word Osteology is comprised of two Greek words Osteon implies bones and Logy means to study, therefore osteology in its broad sense refers to the scientific study of bones. Human Osteology is the branch of osteology that involves the study of human bones and the human skeletal system. It is a broad discipline that generally comprises the growth and development of bones along with their structure and functions. This discipline has covered the basic concepts of bones and the terminology associated with it. Study of skeletal anatomy i.e. study of both axial and appendicular skeleton or number of bones of both upper as well as lower extremities is considered to be an important aspect of human osteology which provides aid to the forensic anthropologists. This study along with other parameters not only helped in gender differentiation but also proves to be very significant for the purpose of individualization.

    MODULE 3 – SOMATOSCOPY

    Here in this module scholars will get to know more about one of the basic anthropometric measurement technique i.e. Somatoscopy which mainly deals with visual observation of different parts of the human body. In this anthropologist describes those features human morphological body which cannot be observed through metrical analysis.

    MODULE 4 – SOMATOMETRY

    Somatometry is one of another anthropometric measurement techniques which aids in expressing the descriptions through metric values. For this numerous measurements have been formulated by anthropologists for taking faultless measurements on the living and skeleton as well.

    MODULE 5 – OSTEOMETRY

    This course provides a broad overview of Osteometry to the scholar. Osteometry is another anthropometric measurements techniques which deal with the measurement of bones, which helps in comparing the skeletons of different populations

    MODULE 6 – CRANIOMETRY

    The main aim of this course is to provide complete knowledge about Craniometry, which is another anthropometric measurement technique. Craniometry is a measurement of the main part of the skull for establishing the differences between groups of the population. Here in this module scholars will be taught about different instruments used for taking measurements with this, scholars will also come to know about different craniometric techniques used.

    MODULE 7 – INDIVIDUALIZATION THROUGH BONES

    This module focuses on the study of various bones and their characteristics, helping the reader understand the concept of establishing the identity of a person whether living or dead through bones, it also sheds light on medico-legal aspect of identity. One should always provide knowledge in a flow, such as the sketch of this segment. It explains the whole identification process in a well-structured manner starting with the establishment of origin, following sex, age, and race determination through various bones found from grave, crime scene, or in case of living person too. As explained earlier, individualization through bones is the most important part of forensic science by dint help we can estimate the age of dead person and alive person, identification of the race, and in order to identify the sex of the human bones can prove to be very useful for us. We can identify the age with the help of fetus, teeth, bones ossification, and suture and we can tell the accurate age of the human being with the help of bones. This module also emphases on facial reconstruction, various methods of reconstruction will be covered, which will eventually help recognize culprit or deceased.

  • Level III : Forensics Anthropology

    MODULE 1 – FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGY

    Skeletal remains as evidence are frequently encountered in numerous cases and send to laboratories for identification which covers under the broad area of Forensic Anthropology, which is the application of Anthropology. Forensic Anthropologist plays an important role in identifying an individual with the help of skeletal remains. In this particular chapter, scholars will know about the history, scope, and significance of Forensic Anthropology. Scholars can pursue careers as Forensic Anthropologist as it is one of the most interesting fields in which just skeletal remains will help you in determining the victim's age, sex, and ancestry.

    MODULE 2 – FORENSIC ARCHAEOLOGY AND SCENE PROCESSING METHOD

    Forensic anthropology is the application of the science of anthropology and its various subfields, including forensic archaeology. Forensic Archeology and scene processing method focuses on various basic principles and excavation techniques used by forensic archeologists to ensure that remains are recovered in control and forensically acceptable manner. After going through this section apprentices will have knowledge about the three main areas i.e. How to assist with crime scene research, Investigating and recovery of the evidence, and/ or skeletal remains. However, on the other hand, detailed information regarding scene documentation along with evidence collection and packaging which is of prime importance will be imparted. It should always be kept in mind that the evidence loses its credibility if the chain of custody not maintained properly.

    MODULE 3 – HUMAN OSTEOLOGY

    The word Osteology is comprised of two Greek words Osteon implies bones and Logy means to study, therefore osteology in its broad sense refers to the scientific study of bones. Human Osteology is the branch of osteology that involves the study of human bones and the human skeletal system. It is a broad discipline that generally comprises the growth and development of bones along with their structure and functions. This discipline has covered the basic concepts of bones and the terminology associated with it. Study of skeletal anatomy i.e. study of both axial and appendicular skeleton or a number of bones of both upper as well as lower extremities is considered to be an important aspect of human osteology which provides aid to the forensic anthropologists. This study along with other parameters not only helped in gender differentiation but also proves to be very significant for the purpose of individualization.

    MODULE 4 – SOMATOSCOPY

    Here in this module scholars will get to know more about one of the basic anthropometric measurement technique i.e. Somatoscopy which mainly deals with visual observation of different parts of the human body. In this anthropologist describes those features human morphological body which cannot be observed through metrical analysis.

    MODULE 5 – SOMATOMETRY

    Somatometry is one of another anthropometric measurement techniques which aids in expressing the descriptions through metric values. For this numerous measurements have been formulated by anthropologists for taking faultless measurements on the living and skeleton as well.

    MODULE 6 – OSTEOMETRY

    This course provides a broad overview of Osteometry to the scholar. Osteometry is another anthropometric measurements techniques which deal with the measurement of bones, which helps in comparing the skeletons of different populations

    MODULE 7 – CRANIOMETRY

    This main aim of this course is provide complete knowledge about Craniometry, which is another anthropometric measurement technique. Craniometry is a measurement of the main part of the skull for establishing the differences between groups of population. Here in this module scholars will be taught about different instruments used for taking measurements with this, scholars will also come to know about different craniometric techniques used.

    MODULE 8 – INDIVIDUALIZATION THROUGH BONES

    This module focuses on the study of various bones and their characteristics, helping the reader understand the concept of establishing the identity of a person whether living or dead through bones, it also sheds light on medico-legal aspect of identity. One should always provide knowledge in a flow, such as the sketch of this segment. It explains the whole identification process in a well-structured manner starting with the establishment of origin, following sex, age, and race determination through various bones found from grave, crime scene, or in case of living person too. As explained earlier, individualization through bones is the most important part of forensic science by dint help we can estimate the age of dead person and alive person, identification of the race, and in order to identify the sex of the human bones can prove to be very useful for us. We can identify the age with the help of a fetus, teeth, bones ossification, and suture and we can tell the accurate age of the human being with the help of bones. This module also emphases on facial reconstruction, various methods of reconstruction will be covered, which will eventually help recognize culprit or deceased.

    MODULE 9 – ESTIMATION OF ANCESTRY

    Forensic anthropologists tend to examine and determine the ancestry of a skeleton by merely examining the morphology, or shape, of the skull and by taking measurements of the skull vault (cavity) and face. By comparing these results with data from populations worldwide, scientists can evaluate that individual's relationship to a world group. Estimation of ancestry is a module that will focus on craniometric analysis and postcranial methods and will enrich the reader with the knowledge of measurement of the cranium.

    MODULE 10 – FIELDS METHODS

    This module deals with the very significant aspect of the investigation process i.e. Field Methods. It holds all the relevant information regarding field procedures which includes preplanning of fieldwork and the ante-mortem information. Also, it deals with the exposure, processing, and recording of archeological remains i.e. Excavation and Disinterment. As it comprises elements of dead remains, this module also contains the investigation process of Burial Location and Burial Classification. It also covers the very important feature of investigation i.e. Post Mortem Interval (PMI) and Time since Death of dead person keeping in mind the process of decomposition. Lastly, the quality checks for the fieldwork so as to make it accurate for investigation.

    MODULE 11 – LAB PROCEDURE AND REPORTING

    Setting up a professional lab with all the equipment's is very essential in order to have a proper environment. Examination and techniques such as photography, radiography, microscopy, molding and casting, computing, and curating plays a very important role in the evaluation of any evidence. In this module, we will be focusing on such important techniques. On their principle, working, and significance. Brief information on legal and ethical considerations will be provided here.

  • What is Forensic Anthropology?

    Forensic Anthropology is basically a component of physical anthropology i.e. the study of human population from a biological and evolutionary perspective. Forensic anthropology uses the methods and goals of physical anthropology to study questions of medico-legal significance.

  • How can I become a Forensic Anthropologist?

    The course is all scrutinized to accustom the learner with the basics of the anthropology and the advanced knowledge as per the level of study to him/her. The Expertise can be achieved with keen observation, skills, wisdom and training with appropriate knowledge. 

  • What are the responsibilities of a Forensic Anthropologist?

    The Forensic Anthropologist has to be skilled enough to identify the individual and his/her the age, sex, race and other factors by studying the bones and other archaeological remains as well. They play a major role in mass disasters, crimes involving missing bodies, archeologically related cases etc. and form an opinion on the same. 

  • What are the scope and the opportunistic aspects of the course?

    Forensic Anthropologist are open to work with various Government Forensic Science Laboratories, emergency response teams in mass disaster and with private organisation as well for identification. They can also work with various bodies concerned with archaeology and share their valuable knowledge. 

  • Where can I contact in case of any queries?

    You can write to us at education@sifs.in or call us at +91-1147074263 or WhatsApp us +91-7303913002 or +91-7303913003.


Jack the Ripper

In the book, “The Cases That Haunt Us” by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker, there was a profile of Jack the Ripper made by Douglas and Roy Hazelwood. According to them, the Ripper was a disorganized, paranoid killer. He would have been a white male in his late 20s to early 30s who was raised in a household marked by a passive or absent father and a dominant mother who may also have been promiscuous and/or an alcoholic. He later became an introverted, antisocial loner who set fires and tortured animals as an outlet for his anger. At the time of the murders, he would have been calm, quiet, and inconspicuous.

If he had a job, he would have chosen one in which he could pursue his interests, such as a morgue worker, butcher, mortician's assistant, low-ranking hospital staff, etc., since the way the Ripper cut out organs from his victims suggests some anatomical knowledge. The times of the murders indicated that he would have had days off on certain weekends and holidays and could come and go from his home as he pleased without anyone noticing. He was also probably neither married nor involved in any committed relationship, the majority of his association with women having most likely been prostitutes.

He may have had some physical defect that made him feel inadequate or unattractive. Because of a negative self-image, he displayed paranoid traits and carried one or more knives for self-defence purposes. Prior to the murders, he may have visited pubs and drunk in order to relieve himself of some tension. He may also have been seen wandering on the streets looking for potential victims. It is possible that he was at one point interviewed or questioned by the police.

Aiswarya Sethumadhavan

5

The course was really helpful for my academics and it increased my knowledge. It was my best decision to go for the course. Kudos to team at SIFS. 

Ankur Bhargava

4

SIFS has numerous courses, each good at its own. I opted for this and loved the staff and material provided. 

Sonal Saigal

5

This was my first online course and I am not at all disappointed. Invested well and got all the return for it in form of knowledge. Thankyou SIFS. 

Gaurav Shivaji Nikam

5

This was an amazing course. Really a very good experience and this built my basics as I have completed my first year now this was really a great experience.

Bhavyashree Guttula

5

It was a great experience to do course from SIFS. Though it was virtual, knowledge shared was good and well clear. Best part of course was to solve the assignments...really enjoyed them a lot. Course content got well covered and also demonstrated the concept very well. Thanks for such an informative, valuable experiences.

 

Instructors

Kratika Mishra

Kratika Mishra

Senior Scientific Officer

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