You are on page 1of 5

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY
SPRING 2008

ANT 3522 SECTION 9265
SKELETON KEYS: INTRODUCTION TO FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGY

Instructor: Heather Freiman, M.A.
E-mail: hfreiman@ufl.edu
Course Time: MWF 7th period (1:55pm-2:45pm)
Course Location: Turlington Hall, Room L005
Office Location: Turlington Hall, Room B355, Phone: 352-392-2253 x 260
Office Hours: Wednesdays 3:00-4:00pm, Fridays 3:00-4:30pm
Course Website: Accessed through E-Learning (http://lss.at.ufl.edu/), login with your
Gatorlink username and password.

Course Objectives: This course provides a broad overview of forensic anthropology, an applied
field of biological anthropology. Forensic anthropology focuses the wider scope of skeletal
biology on problems of medicolegal significance. Its primary goal is to determine personal
identity and cause of death from human remains. This class will not teach proficiency in
forensic techniques; however, we will discuss the full range of problems associated with human
skeletal identification and trauma analysis. These problems will serve as a model for
understanding the broader aspects of this field of applied anthropology.

Required Textbook:
Byers, SN. 2008. Introduction to Forensic Anthropology, Third Edition.

The text is available at the campus bookstore or can be purchased online. Earlier editions of the
text will provide adequate information, but please be aware that there have been several
corrections and modifications made in the newest edition.

Optional books:
1) The following book is out of print, but some used copies are available online. If you are able
to obtain a copy, it is an acceptable substitute for the required textbook.
Ubelaker, DH. 1999. Human Skeletal Remains, Third Edition.

2) There are several “pop” books available written by veteran forensic anthropologists which
may be of interest. These are written for general audiences, are less scientific, and present
primarily case studies. These books can be purchased online, or may be found at a local
bookstore. The UF library also has a few copies.
Bass B. & Jefferson J. (2003). Death’s Acre.
Browning M. & Maples W.R. (1995). Dead Men Do Tell Tales.
Rhine S. (1998). Bone Voyage: A Journey in Forensic Anthropology
Ubelaker D. & Scammell H. (2000). Bones.

ANT3522.9265 Spring 2008 1
Additional Readings: When appropriate, additional required readings will be posted on the E-
Learning website. These will also be announced in class.

Attendance: Attendance will not always be taken, but it is critical to success in the course.
Although there is a required textbook, most of the exam material will come directly from
lectures. Some material in the book will be covered in greater depth in class, and other material
will not be given as much emphasis. Students are responsible for all material covered in
lectures, in-class films, and presented by guest speakers. The instructor will NOT distribute
lecture notes or PowerPoint presentations outside of in-class lectures. If you miss a class,
please make arrangements to get notes from a classmate.

Students must arrive to class on time. Cell phones, pagers, and all other mobile devices (e.g.
MP3 players, PSPs, etc.) must be turned off during class.

Exams: There will be three non-cumulative exams that cover material from lectures, assigned
readings, guest lectures, and films presented in class. The majority of exam material will be
pulled from in-class lectures; you will not be able to perform as well on the exams if you only
rely on the readings.

All exams must be taken during the scheduled time except in extreme circumstances. Exams 1
& 2 will be given during the regular class periods. Exam 3 will be given on Thursday May 1
from 10am-12pm. Any questions regarding grades on Exam 1 or 2 must be submitted to the
instructor, in writing, within 3 days of the exam grade being posted.

Make-up Exam: One makeup exam will be given for this class. The material on the make-up
will be cumulative and will be given on the last day of class (Wednesday April 23). The format
of this cumulative makeup may differ in format from the in-class exams. No make-up will be
given for Exam 3. Except in documented emergency situations, the instructor must be notified
at least one week prior to missing the exam or you will receive a zero and will not be given the
option of taking the make-up exam. This includes absences for University sanctioned events.
All make-up exams are given at the discretion of the instructor.

Extra Credit: Extra credit will not be given on an individual basis. One to two extra credit
assignments will be given during the semester, worth a total of 15 possible points. Extra credit
will be added to the total points earned during the semester (not to an exam score) and will not
raise your final grade by more than ½ letter grade (e.g. if you have a B based on your exam
grades, extra credit points cannot raise your grade to an A). Details of the assignment(s) and
due date(s) will be announced later in the semester and posted on the E-Learning page.

Grading: Final letter grades will be calculated based on points earned on exams and extra credit
– a percentage will then be calculated based on 300 total points. Letter grades will be assigned
based on the following percentages:

A (90-100), B+ (87-89), B (80-86), C+ (77-79), C (70-76), D+ (67-69), D (60-66), E (<60)

For example, you need to earn at least 240/300 points to receive a B (80%).

ANT3522.9265 Spring 2008 2
Any questions or concerns about your final grade must be submitted to the instructor, in
writing, no later than Friday May 2nd at 5:00 pm.

Academic Honesty:
As a result of completing the registration form at the University of Florida, every student
has signed the following statement: “I understand the University of Florida expects its students
to be honest in all their academic work. I agree to adhere to this commitment to academic honesty
and understand that my failure to comply with this commitment may result in disciplinary action
up to and including expulsion from the University.”
Anyone that is caught cheating on an exam will receive a “0” and be reported to the
departmental chair. Plagiarism or cheating in any form is subject to university policy as
outlined by the Dean of Students:
(http://www.dso.ufl.edu/judicial/academichonestystudent.html).

Classroom Accommodation:
Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of
Students Office. The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who
must then provide this documentation to the Instructor when requesting accommodation.
Students experiencing personal problems that are interfering with their academic performance
are encouraged to contact the University Counseling Center (301 Peabody Hall, 392-1575),
Student Mental Health (Student Health Care Center, 392-1171), or Sexual Assault Recovery
Services (Student Health Care Center, 392-1161).

ANT3522.9265 Spring 2008 3
COURSE OUTLINE

Schedule Required Reading

Week 1: Introduction to the Course: What is Forensic Anthropology?
Jan 7: Introduction to the course, explanation of syllabus
Jan 9: Brief history of forensic anthropology Chapter 1
Jan 11: Unfleshed: The Story of Dr. William Maples

Week 2: Medicolegal Aspects of Death
Jan 14: The Medical Examiner & Coroner systems
Jan 16: Cause, manner and mechanism of death
Jan 18: Medicolegal death investigation, Video: LA County Coroner

Week 3: Skeletal Anatomy, Osteology and Osteometry
Jan 21: No Class, MLK Jr, Day
Jan 23: Skeletal anatomy, Introduction to human osteology Chapter 2
Jan 25: Human osteology & osteometry Chapter 2

Week 4: Determining Forensic Significance, Biological Sex, Recovery
Jan 28: Determining forensic significance, human vs. non-human remains Chapter 3
Jan 30: Determination of biological sex Chapter 8
Feb 1: Recovery and processing of remains Chapter 4, 6

Week 5: Forensic Archaeology
Feb 4: Intro to forensic archaeology Chapter 4,6
Feb 6: Guest lecture: Forensic Archaeology – Carlos Zambrano
Feb 8: Exam 1 Review

Week 6: Exam 1, Growth and Development, Age at Death: Juveniles
Feb 11: Exam 1 in class
Feb 13: Skeletal growth and development Chapter 9
Feb 15: Determining age at death in fetuses, infants and juveniles Chapter 9

Week 7: Age at Death: Adults, Determination of Stature
Feb 18: Determining age at death in adults Chapter 9
Feb 20: Determining stature, skeletal changes with age Chapter 10
Feb 22: Introduction to ancestry: clinal variation and population affinities

Week 8: Ancestry, Personal Identification
Feb 25: Determination of ancestry Chapter 7
Feb 27: Identification using antemortem records: Medical records, family
histories, individualizing characteristics
Feb 29: Identification: forensic odontology, radiograph analysis Chapter 18

ANT3522.9265 Spring 2008 4
Schedule Required Reading

Week 9: Pathology & Trauma
Mar 3: Skeletal pathology Chapter 15
Mar 5: Blunt force trauma, gunshot wounds, mechanism of fractures Chapters 11, 12, 13
Mar 7: Sharp force trauma, tool mark analysis and dismemberment Chapters 14, 16

Week 10: Spring Break: No Classes
March 10 – 14: No Class

Week 11: Trauma and Pathology, Exam 2
Mar 17: More pathology and trauma Chapters 11-16
Mar 19: Exam 2 Review
Mar 21: Exam 2 in class

Week 12: Postmortem Changes
Mar 24: Postmortem change: time since death and forensic entomology Chapter 16
Mar 26: Postmortem change: taphonomy Chapter 16
Mar 28: Ritual use of skeletal remains

Week 13: Cremation, Forensic art, Ethics
Mar 31: Cremation
Apr 2: Forensic art
Apr 4: Ethics in forensic anthropology

Week 14: Mass Fatalities
Apr 7: Mass fatalities: techniques in identification
Apr 9: Guest Lecture: Mass Fatalities
Apr 11: No Class – American Association of Physical Anthropologists Meeting

Week 15: Human Rights Missions, Collaboration with Other Forensic Disciplines
Apr 14: Human rights missions
Apr 16: Other forensic sciences
Apr 18: Other forensic sciences

Week 16: Exam 3 Review
Apr 21: Exam 3 Review
Apr 23: Last Day of Class: No class unless taking the Cumulative Make-up Exam

Exam 3: Thursday May 1, 10am-12pm Turlington Hall, Room L005

Note: This syllabus is a guideline. The instructor reserves the right to make minor
modifications due to the availability of potential Guest Speakers or Subject Matter Experts not
currently on the schedule.

ANT3522.9265 Spring 2008 5