Forensic Anthropology - Skeletal analysis
4.6 (13 ratings)
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Forensic Anthropology - Skeletal analysis

What can you really tell about that skeleton in your closet?
4.6 (13 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
79 students enrolled
Created by Catherine Gaither
Last updated 8/2016
English
Current price: $10 Original price: $50 Discount: 80% off
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Includes:
  • 37 mins on-demand video
  • 20 Articles
  • 6 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Describe the scope of the field of anthropology;
  • Describe the scope of the field of forensic anthropology;
  • Identify the major bones of the human skeleton;
  • Distinguish human bones from animal bones;
  • Estimate sex of the individual from skeletal elements;
  • Estimate the age at death of the individual from skeletal elements;
  • Estimate the height and weight of the individual at death;
  • Calculate the minimum number of individuals in a skeletal assemblage;
  • Estimate ancestry from skeletal remains;
  • Identify and define traumatic lesions on human skeletal remains;
  • Understand how to produce a professional report on the results of the analysis;
  • Understand the ethical considerations of importance to physical anthropologists and forensic anthropologists.
View Curriculum
Requirements
  • The course is taught from the perspective that the student has no prior knowledge of the field; however, students would benefit from a background in basic biology and scientific principles.
Description

This course will focus on the field of forensic anthropology. It will define the field as a branch of anthropology. It will then focus on the techniques used by forensic anthropologists to analyze human skeletal remains including the estimation of sex, age at death, stature, and the identification of any traumatic lesions present. It will further discuss the role of the forensic anthropologist as part of the medicolegal system. People who are interested in pursuing a career in forensic science, biology, forensic medicine, medicine, osteology, human anatomy, bioarchaeology, or archaeology can all benefit from this course. The course includes powerpoint presentations with extensive explanations of the materials contained in each, exercises to assist the student in gaining proficiency in osteological analysis, and quizzes to test your knowledge. The course includes 14 lectures, 5 exercises, and 3 quizzes to help the student build knowledge of the subject and test their competency. The course is taught from the perspective that the student has little or no prior knowledge, and no equipment is necessary. A good anatomy book will assist the student, but numerous online resources are available for students to consult. If you have an interest in learning about just how much you can really tell from that skeleton in your closet, this course is for you!

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is best suited for students with a strong interest in science, human anatomy, and/or forensic science. Students who are exploring possible careers in any of the above fields would benefit from this course. Students who have an interest in a medicolegal profession would benefit from this course. Students who have an interest in a profession in law enforcement would benefit from this course. Students who are uncomfortable with viewing human remains should not take this course.
  • None
Compare to Other Anthropology Courses
Curriculum For This Course
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Course outline
1 Lecture 04:59

The course outline describes how the course will proceed, and what lecture topics will be covered. 

Preview 04:59
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The field of Anthropology
2 Lectures 00:21
What is Anthropology?
00:16

Introduction to Anthropology
00:05
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Forensic Anthropology
2 Lectures 00:31
Forensic Anthropology
00:25

Forensic Anthropology
00:06
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Human Osteology
2 Lectures 02:06

Human osteology lecture covers all of the bones of the human body. Be sure to complete the exercise provided and view the supplemental bone identification video. It has additional information and tips for identifying bones in the human body. The exercise key with answers can be found in Section 12. 

Human Osteology
00:10

Supplemental bone identification video lecture
01:56
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Comparative Osteology
2 Lectures 03:43

The Comparative Osteology lecture covers how to distinguish animal bones from human bones. Be sure to watch the supplemental video lecture. It has some additional information and tips on distinguishing animal bones from human bones.

Comparative Osteology
00:08

Supplemental comparative osteology video lecture
03:35
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Estimation of sex from skeletal remains
2 Lectures 04:55

The lecture covers how to estimate sex from skeletal elements. Be sure to complete the exercise below. The exercise key with answers can be found in Section 12. 

Estimating sex from human remains powerpoint
00:05
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Estimating age at death from skeletal remains
4 Lectures 06:20
Estimating age at death from skeletal remains
00:49

The lecture material covers estimating age at death. Be sure to complete the exercise below and watch the supplemental video lectures. They have some additional information and tips for estimating age at death. The exercise key with answers can be found in Section 12. 

Estimate age at death powerpoint
00:04

Supplemental age estimation video lecture
03:47


Estimating age and sex in the skeleton
5 questions
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Estimating stature, BMI, and MNI
2 Lectures 00:44
Estimating Stature, BMI, and MNI
00:39

Estimating stature, BMI, and MNI powerpoint
00:05
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Estimating ancestral affiliation
3 Lectures 05:52
Estimating ancestry
02:01

The lecture covers how to estimate ancestral affliation from skeletal remains. Be sure to complete the exercise below and watch the supplemental video lecture. The answers to the exercise can be found in Section 12. 

Estimating ancestry powerpoint
00:05

Supplemental ancestry estimation video lecture
03:46

Estimating ancestry, stature, BMI, and MNI
5 questions
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Analyzing bones for trauma
5 Lectures 05:13
Analyzing trauma
00:22

How does trauma present on the skeleton; Projectile trauma
00:07

Sharp force trauma
00:04

The lectures cover the analysis of trauma in skeletal remains. Be sure to complete the attached exercise and watch the supplemental video lecture. Answers to the exercise can be found in Section 12. 

Blunt force trauma
00:04

Supplemental trauma analysis video lecture
04:34

Trauma quiz
5 questions
4 More Sections
About the Instructor
Catherine Gaither
4.6 Average rating
13 Reviews
79 Students
1 Course
Bioarchaeologist and Forensic Anthropologist

Hi, I want to tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Catherine Gaither (you can call me Cathy), and I am an instructor with Udemy.

Like many of you, my educational and professional career path was a non-traditional one. After high school, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I had been accepted into the Kansas City Art Institute, which at that time was a very prestigious art school, but I knew that making a living as a fine artist was difficult and I would probably have to work in commercial art. I didn’t really want to do that.

So, I got a job, but soon found out that I just couldn’t ‘work for the vacations’. I needed to love my job. I thought long and hard about what I might do and decided that I would go to school for something where I could end up working with animals. I love animals. I ended up going to the Bel-Rea Institute for Animal Health Technology. I earned an Associate’s Degree, and proceeded to work with veterinarians for the next 11 years.

In 1990, I took a trip to Borneo to work with a world renowned primatologist, Birute Galdikas, studying orangutans in the jungle. While I loved the animals, I was even more fascinated by the people, and it was then that I decided I wanted to go back to school for anthropology. Initially, I thought I would do cultural anthropology, but as my education progressed, I was introduced to archaeology and I just loved it. It was like being a detective, but the “crime” happened 1000 years ago or 2000 years ago or 200 years ago. I thought to myself, “I will never get bored in this field.”

So, while working one and sometimes two jobs, I went back to school eventually earning my Bachelor’s Degree in anthropology. But what kind of archaeology did I want to do? Well, I didn’t know, so I took two years off after graduating and went to work in Florida on shipwreck sites as a contract archaeologist. I was already a certified open water diver and I thought I could combine two things that I really loved.

While doing that, I had a chance to analyze some animal bones from a shipwreck. The animals, you see, get trapped below decks when a ship is going down. The people usually come to the top deck and are washed overboard or jump overboard, but the animals are stuck. Well, when I analyzed these bones, I was hooked on bones! It was so fascinating to me that you could tell so much from skeletal remains.

After looking into what you could with human skeletal remains, I knew what I wanted to do. I contacted my undergraduate advisor to ask him what to do, and he told me that I had to come work in Peru. There are lots of human skeletons from archaeological contexts there. He helped me to analyze some skeletons and gave me advice on where to go to school.

I ended up taking his advice and going to Tulane University where I worked with John Verano, a very well-known and highly regarded paleopathologist who has and continues to work in Peru. I eventually earned both a Master’s Degree and my PhD from Tulane University. Now I am a paleopathologist/bioarchaeologist and forensic anthropologist. I have worked for many years in academia, but at the beginning of 2015, I decided to go to work as a forensic consultant. I now travel extensively working as a consultant.

After these experiences, I would tell you that you should follow your dreams, and that if you want something, go after it. Don’t ever think you are too old or too poor or too whatever. If you want something and you dedicate yourself to getting it, you can achieve your goals. I hope to help you with that effort in some small way. So, welcome to class and I look forward to working with you.