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Decribing Forensic Anthropology In The Book "Dead Men Do Tell Tales" By William Maples. Forensic Anthropology Is The Examination Of Skeletal Remains

940 words - 4 pages

Forensic Anthropology"They are speaking secrets to me and to my students, yielding up hidden information, furnishing ideas and evidence to the world of the living" (Maples 33). This is a quote from the book Dead Men Do Tell Tales, written by Williams R. Maples, Ph.D. He is referring to bones and how many stories they can tell to Forensic Anthropologists. Forensic anthropology is the examination of skeletal remains. This examination can be used to first determine if the remains are in fact human. Then the forensic anthropologist can determine the gender, approximate age, physical build, and likely racial link of the person in life. The identification of skeletal badly decomposed, or otherwise ...view middle of the document...

William also points out, "You must not think of bones as solid and unchanging"(104). Our skeletons are constantly reshaping and alive within bones are different shapes at different ages in our lives. In one case William had, he was given 10,000 fragments of a human and told to find the identity of the human(s) they belong to."I spent a year and a half painstakingly reassembling those skeletons. We carefully gauged the thickness of the bone walls, we closely measured the curvature of fragments"(179). Small details are what he focused on and soon he found the identity of the two humans that the remains belonged to.Normally, William Maples, who is a Forensic Anthropologist, mostly deals with murder victims. "In most of my cases I have to place myself in the role of the victim, to see what happened at the time of death. I become the dismemberer, imagining the scene, the tools, the strokes that hack the body asunder"(63). This is how William draws conclusions from gunshots, burned bodies, dismembered bodies and suicide marks. For instance William recalls, "We were able to determine that the bullet had traveled in a decidedly upward direction and that the victim has been directly facing the shooter"(64). Just from one bullet hole, many things can be found. "Flame does interesting things to bones, and part of my job is to examine human skeletal remains after the have been burned"(135). From this quote, William introduces many ways to identify people through charred and flamed remains. "After surgery to remove a gall bladder or a kidney, the blood vessels are...

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