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When osteology is put into practice: forensic anthropology

Anja Petaros ; Zavod za sudsku medicinu, Medicinski fakultet Sveučilišta u Rijeci, Rijeka, Hrvatska
Morana Čengija ; Zavod za sudsku medicinu, Medicinski fakultet Sveučilišta u Rijeci, Rijeka, Hrvatska
Alan Bosnar ; Zavod za sudsku medicinu, Medicinski fakultet Sveučilišta u Rijeci, Rijeka, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 657 Kb


str. 19-28

preuzimanja: 2.558



Osteology is a subdiscipline of anthropology and archeology which studies the macroscopic and microscopic structure of bones. Experts in the field of osteology apply their knowledge in recovering and interpreting changes in skeletal tissue, determining the action of different biological and cultural factors on bone morphology. Osteology is often applied to investigations in various disciplines such as history and archeology, demography, epidemiology, forensics and criminology. The development of osteology in the 21st century is supported mainly by its application in the context of forensic practice. Osteology approaches are being used by forensic anthropologists in order to facilitate the reconstruction of the biological profile of the remains and the identification of the deceased. They can also provide useful information for understanding the cause, manner and mechanism of death. The article aims to describe, relying on rich literature, the basic osteological techniques used in forensic anthropology. In addition to determining the biological profile (race, gender, age), the authors emphasize the importance of osteology in determining the circumstances of injuries and time of death. The practical contribution of osteology in forensics is manifested also within juridical processes as it has proved useful in investigations of crime scenes, human rights violations, mass incidents and wars. Forensic anthropology deals also with population, secular and geographically determined variations in bone morphology, confirming its important position within physical anthropology. The development of forensic anthropology in 21st century is not questionable. The conceptual and practical advancements in complementary fields, the development of new osteological techniques and the utilization of molecular and biochemical technologies are continuously supporting its scientific and practical progress.

Ključne riječi

biological profile; forensics; identification; physical anthropology; postmortal interval

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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