BFI 301 – Forensic Anthropology and Facial Reconstruction



Course Description:

Forensic anthropology involves application of osteolgy and skeletal identification to matters involving law and the police since every human skeleton is unique in some way. The forensic anthropology is considered under the branch of physical anthropology which deals with the identification of more or less skeletonized human remains for forensic purposes.

Identification of an individual could not be done not only on the basis of skeletal parts but also with the help of morphological features of soft parts of the body. For identification several factors like racial group, sex, stature and other distinguishing features of the individual taken into consideration.

A forensic anthropologist assist in the identification of individuals whose remains are burned, mutilated, badly decomposed or sometimes the body was unrecognizable as well as they play an important role in establishing the identity of an individual through human body measurements which could help the investigators in criminal profiling.

The forensic anthropologists assist as principle investigators that collect the remains in proper manner because it is a crucial aspect in successful identification.

After the comprehensive insight about differentiation between human and non-human by examination of skeletal remains, the students will feel competent enough to estimate age, sex, ethnicity and stature of unknown individual.

Course Structure:

Module 1: Introduction to Forensic Anthropology
General Introduction of Anthropology, Historical perspective of anthropology, Branches of Anthropology, Scope and Significance of forensic anthropology
Module 2: Genesis and Development in Anthropology
Human Physique: Somatotypes – Ectomorphy, Mesomorphy and Endomorphy, Methods of somatotyping: Sheldon’s and Heath-Carter’s Methods
Module 3: Identification of individual using Anthropometry
Principles and methods of anthropometry. Measurements on the living and skeletal parts. Land marks on human body and measurement techniques, Somatological characteristics of various parts of the human body, Genetic traits of forensic importance.
Module 4: Dermatoglyphics
Development of dermal ridges in intra-uterine life, Finger, palm and sole prints, palmer lines and creases, plantar creases, human foot morphological variations. Role of anthropology in identification of person
Module 5: Assessment of Human Growth
Methods of studying human growth, longitudinal cross sectional and mixed longitudinal methods, Distance and velocity curves of body height and weight, Pre-natal and post-natal stages of growth and development, Factors affecting growth and development
Module 6: Assessment of Age
Chronological and developmental age, Methods of assessing developmental age, dental age, skeletal age, morphological age and secondary sex character age, Significance of age estimation in forensics
Module 7: Osteology of Human Skeleton
Distinguishing human from non-human bones, Terminology associated with gross morphology of bone, skeletal direction and human dentition,  Skeletal trauma and pathology, Human dentition, Dental numbering system, Dental anomalies, Racial differences in skull, mandible, pelvis, long bones and scapula, Studies on stature reconstruction in various population groups, Recovery and packaging of skeletonised and burnt remains.
Module 8: Study of skeletal remains
Criteria of age in human skeleton – Post natal appearance and union of centers of ossification, Pre-natal ossification, differences due to race, Suture closure, pelvis, long bones, Sex differences in skull, pelvis and long bone, Calculation of stature from long bones. Use of immature and fragmentary long bones in stature calculation
Module 9: Field Method
Field Procedure: Exhumation- Purpose and Procedure
Module 10: Restoration of physiognomic details from skull
Relation of the skull to photographs. Restoration of the head from the skull, Use of radiography of skull and other bones in skeletal identification, two-dimensional and three dimensional reconstruction

Student Learning Outcomes: After completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate identification of deceased individuals by using anthropometric measurement techniques
  • Examine the age, sex, stature and ethnicity of unknown individuals through skeletal remains

Assessment & Evaluation

The students who enrolled as per the course selected are assessed by the allotted assignment and presentation and evaluated by conducting online examination and a viva by our forensic expert. The exam will be conducted by the concerned authority on the specific date and time. The relevant details regarding submission of assignment and presentation, duration of exam, date and time of online examination along with viva is mentioned via mail to the student.

After the successful completion of course along with online assessment, the mark sheets and certificate is generated and sent to the postal address of the student as mentioned in their application form and uploaded document


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