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Forensic Anthropology

People studying an unearthed skeleton

Forensic Anthropology is the study of the human skeleton in the medicolegal context. OCME maintains a staff of skilled Forensic Anthropologists who utilize their expertise of the human skeleton when responding to death scenes and analyzing skeletal remains in the laboratory. In many instances, the expertise of the Forensic Anthropologist may be an essential contribution to the identification of a deceased person and the Medical Examiner's determination of cause and manner of death.

Forensic Anthropologists may work with Medicolegal Investigators at death scenes where badly decomposed, skeletonized, fragmentary, burned, or buried remains are discovered.  Forensic Anthropologists' work in the laboratory primarily consists of documenting and interpreting skeletal trauma, using skeletal indicators to estimate the biological profile of unknown individuals (age-at-death, ancestry, sex, stature), and the determination of human versus nonhuman bone.

Forensic Anthropologists are also important members of OCME's mass fatality response team.  Anthropological skills are critical for these types of scenarios to ensure that human remains and associated evidence are accurately and thoroughly recovered and documented. 

In addition, the OCME's Forensic Anthropology team continues to work with the ongoing World Trade Center identification efforts and serves as the point of contact for World Trade Center families.