Anthropologists can help identify a deceased from his or her skeletal remains bearing characteristics of ancestry, sex, stature, age and trauma. Conduct a couple of visual comparison techniques, explore Liliana Pereyra's case, and get a glimpse into the work of three anthropologists.
Learning from bones
Bones bear numerous clues that can help anthropologists determine who the person was and how they died. When deciphered, these cluses may serve as evidence in a courtroom.
Take a close look at these two skulls. Compare the different views of the two—especially the areas marked. Do you see any differences that help you identify the sex of each skull? Now click on the male or female button and see if you got it right! View hints.
Forensic anthropologists analyze skeletal remains to establish the biological profile of an unknown person, which may include ancestry estimation. They examine skulls for various characteristics that offer clues about the person's ancestry. Here, we will just focus on the nasal area. Take a close look at the front and profile views of the nose area (nasal bone, opening, spine and sill) to consider possible ancestry of this person. View hints.
Bullet entry and exit wound
There is a clear distinction between entry and exit wounds made by a bullet. Take a close look at each wound, and determine which is the entry wound and which is the exit. View hints.
Justice for Liliana Pereyra, who disappeared in 1976 in Argentina, was served in April 1985 after the truth about her disappearance and death was unearthed by Clyde Snow and a small group of Argentinean anthropology and medical students in 1984.
Liliana Pereyra's Case: Learn about Liliana's story and those who worked to bring justice for her.
Family of Liliana Pereyra; American Association for the Advancement of Science Archives
Bones as Witnesses: Listen to Dr. Snow's account of his work in Argentina and on other international human rights cases.
Mercedes Doretti, EAAF
Here, three anthropologists share their experiences in convicting military dictators, working with a museum collection, and identifying disaster victims as their findings are made available for cultural, legal, or scientific purposes.