Forensic anthropology is a vastly popular and rapidly changing profession, yet to date there has been no volume that reflects the current state of the discipline and forecasts its future. The first comprehensive text in the field, Forensic Anthropology: Contemporary Theory and Practice examines the medical, legal, ethical, and humanitarian issues associated with forensic anthropology, current forensic methods, and bio-historical investigations.
Forensic Anthropology offers a unique synthesis of theoretical and methodological coverage. Rather than simply describing methodology, Komar and Buikstra place forensic anthropology in the broader context of medico-legal death investigations, critically evaluating practical techniques in a scientific framework and detailing the anthropologist's role in relation to both law enforcement and the medical examiner or coroner. The authors review the current state of the field, emphasizing recent changes to the judicial guidelines regarding the admissibility of scientific evidence in court. They highlight the impact of these rulings, the increased need for scientific rigor, and the evolving nature of anthropological studies, preparing students to function effectively in the demanding judicial system that will evaluate their work in the future. The text also stresses the vital importance of research in the development of forensic applications of anthropology.
Forensic Anthropology is enhanced by numerous illustrative case studies and more than ninety photos and illustrations that help to deepen and enrich students' understanding of the material. Coauthored by a top authority in forensic anthropology and an anthropologist whose fieldwork has included medico-legal death investigation in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Darfur, this volume is an in-depth and indispensable guide to the dynamic and rapidly professionalizing field of forensic anthropology.
"This book is definitely one that I would use in my classes. As a reference text it is one that all practicing forensic anthropologists will want to own and will want their students to have. Other volumes do not provide a comprehensive resource for the challenges facing us today. Such a volume as [this one] will certainly advance that cause."--Mary H. Manhein, Louisiana State University a Deputy Coroner of East Baton Rouge Parish
"This book is superior to any other source on the market today. In recommending this book to colleagues I should note its coverage of the U.S. legal system, enlightened discussion of the NAGPRA issue and related ethical problems, its adequate history of the American advances in forensic anthropology, and the excellent case histories that it includes."--Kenneth A. R. Kennedy, Cornell University
"Overall, this book is a valuable resource for teaching advanced undergraduate and graduate students. It has an excellent bibliography that contains over eight hundred references, which students, instructors, and professionals will find especially useful. The case studies, illustrations, tables, and extensive glossary all complement the well-written and easy to read text. The success of this book can be attributed to the authors>' combined decades of experience, careful review of the literature, and dedication toward improving the discipline of forensic anthropology. Komar and Buikstra>'s commitment to both the education and training of forensic practitioners is impressively conveyed in this comprehensive work."--Rebecca A. Cuddahee, Duke University, in PaleoAnthropology 2009