Forensic Anthropology

 

There are a wide range of career and job options available in forensics, and one of the most popular is without a doubt forensic anthropology.

But what is forensic anthropology?

The easiest way to define forensic anthropology is simply to state that it is the application of anthropological science and techniques (in particular physical anthropology) in a legal setting.

Anthropology is essentially the science that studies humanity. There are a number of different fields of anthropology, but the one of most interest in this case is physical anthropology.

As the name suggests, physical anthropology is focused on using physical evidence of humans in the form of bones and fossils, to gain a greater understanding of our species and its evolution throughout history.

And it is these skills that are used by forensic anthropologists

When a body is discovered it is often in a state of decomposition. This can make it difficult to move and it can also present challenges when trying to work out who the person is and what has happened to them.

This is where the science of forensic anthropology comes in.

Tasks Involved In Forensic Anthropology

The first task of a forensic anthropologist will be to use their skills in physical anthropology to help recover bodies which have been discovered in various decomposed states that may have been caused by such things as fire, mutilation, drowning or burial.

A forensic anthropologist can also be called upon to help in the identification of bodies, as well as helping to work out what the possible cause of death was and how it happened.

In these last two tasks (i.e identity and cause of death) the use of forensic anthropology will generally be combined with the use of a range of other forensic techniques such as forensic science, forensic pathology and forensic odontology (dentistry).;

it is through the combination of all these disciplines that criminal investigators have the best chance of gathering the evidence they need to identify who the body is, what happened to them and who, if anyone may have caused or been involved in the death.

Forensic Anthropology Jobs & Careers

Over the past decade the popularity of TV shows such as CSI has led to a consistent growth in the interest of people to pursue a career in all forensic disciplines.

And while the growth in jobs generally hasn’t matched this increase in interest, it is still an industry that will provide a steady source of jobs for many years to come.

A person working in forensic anthropology can expect to earn an above average wage. Once you’ve worked in the industry for a while and built up some good experience, it’s is quite reasonable to expect to be earning close to (and possibly in excess of) a six-figure salary.

Like with many of the social sciences, there are also career prospects within the field of teaching and university lecturing if you decide at some stage that you’d prefer that career path to the sometimes confronting world of the forensic anthropologist.

Forensic Anthropology Summary

So if you’re interested in a career in forensic anthropology, you’re first step will be to look into studying one of the sciences at na undergraduate level.

From there you will go onto graduate studies, more than likely in anthropology. And frm there you will undertake the necessary courses to enable you to work in forensic anthropology and begin your =career in this exciting field.

 

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