Ancestry determination in the identification of unknown remains can be a challenge for forensic scientists and anthropologists, especially when the remains available for testing are limited. There are various techniques for the assessment of ancestry, ranging from traditional to new microbiological and computer-assisted methods. Biological Affinity in Forensic Identification of Human Skeletal Remains: Beyond Black and White presents a range of tools that can be used to identify the probable socio-cultural "race" category of unknown human remains.
Gathering insight from those who have made recent improvements and scientific advances in the field, the book begins with the historical foundations of the concept of biological affinity and the need for increased research into methods for determining ancestry of skeletal remains. The contributors cover a range of topics, including:
No single method or technique is adequate in the assessment of ancestry. For accurate determinations, the use of traditional and new techniques combined yields better results. This book demonstrates the large repertoire of tools available to those tasked with these challenging determinations.
"…provides a much-needed, focused volume that addresses the issue of race, ancestry, and population affinity. The editors have considerable field experience in forensic casework, and they have assembled a variety of authors with various approaches…a platform to showcase new methods and explain analytical approaches to evaluate ancestry. Overall, the volume successfully meets the goals of the authors to educate the reader in the methods and approaches currently used to assess ancestry and to fill the void left by other texts. Biological Affinity in Forensic Identification of Human Remains: Beyond Black and White would be a smart addition to a practitioner’s bookshelf."
—Christian Crowder, PhD, Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, Houston, Texas, in Journal of Forensic Sciences
A Brief History of the Race Concept in Physical Anthropology; Sabrina C. Ta’ala
Biological Affinity in Medicolegal, Public, and Anthropological Contexts; Gregory E. Berg and Sabrina C. Ta’ala
Cranial Morphoscopic Traits and the Assessment of American Black, American White, and Hispanic Ancestry; Joseph T. Hefner
Biological Affinity and Sex from the Mandible Utilizing Multiple World Populations; Gregory E. Berg
Metric Ancestry Estimation from the Postcranial Skeleton; Kate Spradley
The Sagittal Suture as an Indicator of Race and Sex; Robert W. Mann, Jiro Manabe, John E. Byrd, Stephanie Ah Sam, Thomas D. Holland, and Panya Tuamsuk
Beyond the Cranium: Ancestry Estimation from the Lower Limb; Natalie R. Shirley, Emam Elhak Abdel Fatah, and Mohamed Mahfouz
Population Affinities of Hispanic Crania: Implications for Forensic Identification; Ann H. Ross, Dennis E. Slice, and Douglas H. Ubelaker
Dental Nonmetric Variation around the World: Using Key Traits in Populations to Estimate Ancestry in Individuals; Joel D. Irish
Dental Morphological Estimation of Ancestry in Forensic Contexts; Heather J. H. Edgar
Size Matters: Discrimination between American Blacks and Whites, Males and Females, Using Tooth Crown Dimensions; Edward F. Harris and Candice L. Foster
Linking Identity with Landscape: Osteological and Sr–Pb Isotopic Methods for Biogeoreference; Erin H. Kimmerle and George D. Kamenov
The Use of DNA in the Identification of Degraded Human Skeletal Remains: A Basic Primer; Suni M. Edson and Alexander F. Christensen
Identification of Deceased Unauthorized Border Crossers in the United States; Lori E. Baker
Sequence, Haplotype, and Ancestry: Using the Mitochondrial DNA Hypervariable Region to Predict Forensic "Race"; Alexander F. Christensen