Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Forensic and Archaeological Analyses: Similarities and Differences

  • Douglas H. UbelakerEmail author
  • Soren Blau
  • Luis Fondebrider
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_134


Methodology in the analysis of human remains varies considerably in relation to context and problem orientation. Human remains are found in a myriad of contexts, with different levels of completeness and with varying degrees of preservation. All of these factors influence approach and the types of tests that can be utilized in analysis. The central problem to be examined also shapes methodology selection.


Forensic Analysis

In forensic applications, the particular issues presented by each case largely dictate what procedures should be employed. Forensic anthropologists bring awareness of the range of approaches possible to each issue. With this perspective, they then can select the appropriate techniques to solve the problems presented by each individual case.

Methodology selection in forensic work begins with recovery. Knowledge that remains are buried within a discrete location calls for archaeological techniques that remove the surrounding soil, leaving the...

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Further Reading

  1. Blau, S. & D.H. Ubelaker. (ed.) 2009. Handbook of forensic anthropology and archaeology. Walnut Creek (CA): Left Coast Press, Inc.Google Scholar
  2. Katzenberg, M.A. & S.R. Saunders. (ed.) 2008. Biological anthropology of the human skeleton, 2nd edn. Hoboken (NJ): John Wiley and Sons, Inc.Google Scholar
  3. Larsen, C.S. (ed.) 2010. A companion to biological anthropology. West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  4. Ubelaker, D.H. 1999. Human skeletal remains: excavation, analysis, interpretation, 3rd edn. Washington (DC): Taraxacum.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas H. Ubelaker
    • 1
    Email author
  • Soren Blau
    • 2
  • Luis Fondebrider
    • 3
  1. 1.National Museum of Natural HistorySmithsonian InstitutionWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Forensic MedicineVictorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, Monash UniversitySouthbankAustralia
  3. 3.The Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (Equipo Argentino de Antropología Forense, EAAF)Buenos AiresArgentina