The roots of forensic anthropology extend back to 19th-century interests in the biological basis of abnormal behavior (Lombroso, 1887), Bertillonage (human identification using anthropometric measurements), and early anatomists and physicians called upon to examine human remains. Stewart (1979) has suggested that Thomas Dwight (1843-1911) deserves the title of "Father of Forensic Anthropology in the United States" for his 1878 essay on medical-legal identification of the human skeleton and other works (Dwight, 1878). Other notable early contributors were Jeffries Wyman (1814-1874), George Dorsey (1869-1931) and Harris Hawthorne Wilder (1864-1928) (Stewart, 1979; Ubelaker, 1999b).
Although the early pioneers of physical anthropology Ales Hrdlicka (1869-1943) and Earnest A. Hooton (1887-1954) were involved in casework (Stewart, 1979; Ubelaker, 1999c), publication and professionalization of the field came later, largely through the work of Wilton M. Krogman (1903-1988) and T. Dale Stewart (1901-1997) (Ubelaker, 2000a, 2000b). Key factors in the development of forensic anthropology were the growth of skeletal collections supporting forensic research, routine consultation of Smithsonian anthropologists with the FBI, anthropological involvement with the military to assist in identification issues, formation of the Physical Anthropology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in 1972, and the formation of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology in 1977 (Snow, 1982; Ubelaker, 1997). By the year 2001, membership had grown to 252 in the Physical Anthropology Section and to 50 Diplomates recognized by the ABFA.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.