Syllabus & Schedule


23 Jul 17

Topic/Activity Instructor/ Room
9:00-9:30 Welcome Mann Osteo Lab

Rm 119

9:30-10:30 Overview of Forensic Anthropology Age/Sex/Ancestry Rm 119
10:30-12:00 Assign Skeletal Cases and Begin Analysis (teams) Rm 119
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-5:00 Skeletal Analysis (break-away topics TBD) Rm 119

24 Jul 17

Topic/Activity Room
9:00-10:00 Overview of Stature/Bone Disease/Trauma Rm 119
10:00-12:00 Skeletal Analysis (break-away topics TBD) Rm 119
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:00 Forensic DNA Rm 119
2:00-5:00 Skeletal Analysis (break-away topics TBD) Rm 119

25 Jul 17

Topic/Activity at UHWO Room
9:00-5:00 Remains Recovery Exercise UHWO (Meeting room TBD)

26 Jul 17

Topic/Activity Room
9:00-9:30 The Ewa Mummy: From Recovery to Identification Rm 119
9:30-12:00 Skeletal Analysis (break-away topics TBD)
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-5:00 Skeletal Analysis (break-away topics TBD) Rm 119

27 Jul 17

Topic/Activity Room
9:00-12:00 Finalize Skeletal Analysis and PPT Presentations Rm 119
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-4:00 Teams Present Findings of Skeletal Analysis Rm 119
4:00-4:30 Present Certificates and Team/Group photos Rm 119

Select break-away topics and stations of about 10-20 minutes each will occur on several days and may include: Musculoskeletal Anatomy (guided); Plastination of remains; 3D Photogrammetry; Augmented Virtual Reality; Forensic DNA (Dr. Dr. Noemi Polgar); Removal of Soft Tissue with Dermestid beetles; Trauma; Bone Disease and Osteoarthritis; Non-metric Traits and Anatomical Variants; Photography of Bones; and Osteometrics.

Course Description:

This one-week intensive course covers most aspects in the analysis of human skeletal remains as they relate to forensic anthropology and forensic medicine. Participants will receive classroom and laboratory training with contemporary skeletons in the Department of Anatomy, John A. Burns School of Medicine of the University of Hawaii. The course is divided into two components: 1) human osteology and forensic anthropology (4 days); and 2) archaeological recovery of human remains in a forensic setting (1 day). Working individually and in small teams to simulate actual case work, students will analyze a known-identity human skeleton and compile a biological profile consisting of the individual’s age at death, sex, ancestry, stature, bone disease, and trauma. On the last day of class students will present their findings to the class via electronic (e.g., PowerPoint) presentation. Grading for the course is pass/fail based on skeletal analysis and PowerPoint presentation (70%), archaeological recovery (20%), and practical bone quiz and “The Black Box” (10% combined) of overall grade. Certificates will be provided to each participant upon successful completion of the course. Participants will be provided instruction in the following areas and topics:

Handling, preserving, and curating human remains.

Identifying and siding human bones, including “The Black Box” to give students an opportunity to experience what can be learned from bones using touch alone.

Methods for estimating age at death, sex, ancestry/race, stature, and personal identity.

Introduction to video-superimposition.

DNA and bones.

Non-metric traits and anatomical variants of the human skeleton.

Archaeological methods for recovering buried and surface scattered remains and evidence.

Decomposition and taphonomy.

Plastination and preservation of remains.

3D photogrammetry and Augmented Virtual Reality of human bones.

Introduction to functional and musculoskeletal anatomy (cadavers in gross anatomy lab).


Course Objectives:

Provide students with an understanding of the human skeleton in forensic anthropology and forensic medicine.

Students should be able to distinguish human from non-human bones and teeth.

Be able to complete an inventory of human skeletal remains.

Know how to establish minimum number of individuals (MNI) and its significance in forensic anthropology.

Be familiar with the methods and techniques used to analyze, interpret and report on human skeletal remains in a forensic context.

Be familiar with the components of a biological profile.

Be familiar with methods of personal identity (identification) using human bones and teeth.

Have a basic understanding of bone disease and its role in forensic anthropology and forensic medicine.

Have a basic understanding of skeletal trauma and its role in forensic anthropology and forensic medicine.

Have a familiarity with musculoskeletal anatomy.

Have a basic understanding of archaeology and its role in the recovery and handling of human remains and material evidence.

Assessment of the Course:

Analyze a human skeleton and present the findings to the class (70% of grade).

Successfully complete both the field (archaeological; 20% of grade) and lab (osteology) components.

Pass a practical quiz on identifying and siding human bones (10% of grade).

Facilities and Equipment Available for use at JABSOM:

  • Skeletal analysis will be conducted in the Gross Anatomy Laboratory (Room 119).
  • Comparative skeletal material (e.g., articulated hanging skeleton).
  • Sliding and spreading calipers.
  • Osteometric boards.
  • Photography stand and tripod.
  • Lab coats and personal protective equipment as requested or needed.
  • Anatomy and anthropology textbooks, guidelines, and other reference materials available for individual and team use.
  • Lockers and locks (for clothing, etc.).

Recommended Text(s) (handouts will be provided by instructors):

Standards for Data Collection from Human Skeletal Remains: Proceedings of a Seminar at the Field Museum of Natural History. Arkansas Archeological Report Research Series No. 44, Fayetteville, Jane E. Buikstra and Douglas H. Ubelaker, 1994.

Additional Text/Lab Manual (not required):

The Bone Book, Robert W. Mann, Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Illinois, 2017.