Introduction to Forensic Anthropology  book cover
5th Edition

Introduction to Forensic Anthropology

ISBN 9781138188846
Published September 26, 2016 by Routledge
502 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $190.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This book provides comprehensive coverage of the methods and issues in the current practice of forensic anthropology. It introduces students to all the major topics in the field, with material ranging from the attribution of ancestry and sex, to various forms of bone trauma, to identification through radiography.

Introduction to Forensic Anthropology uses the terminology and best practices recommended by the Scientific Working Group for Forensic Anthropology (SWGANTH). The fifth edition has been fully updated in light of recent developments, incorporating new and improved methods as well as fresh data. The section on human osteology and odontology in particular has been expanded.

This accessible and engaging text offers an array of features to support teaching and learning, including:

  • boxed case studies
  • extensive figures and photographs
  • chapter summaries and student exercises
  • a glossary of terms
  • further resources via a companion website.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Stanley Rhine



Chapter 1 Introduction

Historical Background

Forensic Anthropologists and the Medicolegal Community

Forensic Anthropology and Juriceprudence

Forensic Anthropology Protocol and the Layout of This Book

Methods of Forensic Anthropology

Summary •  Exercises  


Chapter 2 Basics of Human Osteology and Odontology

Overview of the Human Skeleton

Basic Topics in Osteology

Overview of the Human Dentition

Summary  •  Exercises  


Chapter 3 <title> Establishing Medicolegal Significance

Distinguishing Bone and Teeth From Other Material

Distinguishing Human From Nonhuman

Contemporary Versus Noncontemporary

Summary   •  Exercises  


Chapter 4 Recovery Scene Methods

Preliminary Issues

Locating Remains

Mapping Remains

Grave Excavation



Genocide Investigations

Summary •  Exercises 


Chapter 5 Estimating Postmortem Interval

Overview of Decomposition

Decomposition and Skeletonization

Animal Scavenging

MethodsSummary   •  Exercises 


Chapter 6 Initial Treatment and Examination

Forensic Anthropology Laboratory

Preparation of Remains

Reconstruction, Sorting, and Reassembly

Inventorying Remains

Highly Fragmented Remains

Summary   •  Exercises <


Chapter 7 Attribution of Ancestry

Anthroposcopic Traits

Metric Methods

Miscellaneous Ancestral Characteristics

Summary   •  Exercises


Chapter 8 Attribution of Sex

Sexing the Pelvis

Sexing the Skull

Miscellaneous Methods

Sexing Subadults

Other Methods

Summary   •  Exercises  


Chapter 9 Estimation of Age at Death<



Symphyseal Surface

Auricular Surface of the Os Coxa

Sternal Rib Ends

Cranial Suture Closure

Other MethodsSummary   •  Exercises 


Chapter 10 Calculation of Stature

Basics of Stature Reconstruction

Full Skeleton Methods

Long Limb Bones

Other Skeletal Elements

Fleshed Body Segments

Partial Long Limb Bones

Adjustments to StatureSummary   •  Exercises 


Chapter 11 Death, Trauma, and the Skeleton

Cause and Manner of Death

Basics of Bone Trauma

of Forces Causing Trauma

Types of Trauma

Timing of Bone Injury

Summary   •  Exercises


Chapter 12 Projectile Trauma

Basics of Ammunition and Firearms

Basics of Bullet Travel

Effects of Bullets on Bone

Bullet Wound Analysis

Pellet Wound Analysis

Miscellaneous Projectiles

Determining Cause and Manner of Death

Summary  •  Exercises 


Chapter 13 Blunt Trauma

Characteristics of Instruments

Types of Fractures

Effects of Blunt Instruments

Wound Analysis

Determining Cause and Manner of DeathSummary  •  Exercises 


Chapter 14 Sharp and Miscellaneous Trauma

Sharp Trauma

Effects of Sharp Instruments

Wound Analysis

Blast Trauma

Chemical Trauma

Determining Cause and Manner of DeathSummary  •  Exercises


Chapter 15 Antemortem Skeletal Conditions

Pathological Conditions

Skeletal Anomalies

Occupational Stress Markers

Summary   •  Exercises


Chapter 16 Postmortem Changes to Bone


Animal Scavenging

Fire Damage


Burial Damage

Water Transport Damage


Summary   •  Exercises


Chapter 17 Additional Aspects of Individualization

Facial Approximation

Assessing Handedness

Estimating Body Weight

Summary  •  Exercises


Chapter 18 Obtaining an Identification

Positive Identification

Probable Identification

Miscellaneous Techniques

Summary  •  Exercises


Chapter 19 Conclusion

Ethical Responsibilities

The Final Report

Courtroom Testimony

Future of Forensic Anthropology




Note on Photography


View More



Steven N. Byers has a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico (UNM), USA. Now retired, he worked for a number of years on various campuses of UNM, teaching courses in Forensic Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, and Archaeology. He is currently serving on the Anthropology Consensus Body of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Standards Board, in addition to focusing on Southeastern United States bioarchaeology. Byers’ publications with Taylor & Francis include Introduction to Forensic Anthropology (in its 5th edition), and Forensic Anthropology Lab Manual (in its 4th edition).


A superb update of one of the most comprehensive introductory texts for teaching forensic anthropology, especially in North America. Intended for undergraduate students, this richly illustrated and easy to read compendium remains the go-to single reference for students, instructors, and professionals interested in the basics of forensic anthropology. Michael Pietrusewsky, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA