Anthropology Answer Writing Practice 2018 - Week 11 - Question 1

90 Days Anthropology Answer Writing Practice Question 1 for 21-Jan-2019

Instructions for Writing Answer

1. Write your answers in the comment section.

2. Experts will provide their feedback in reply.

3. Model Answers will be uploaded on this page the next day.

4. Rectify your mistakes and progress further.

5. All the Best.

21-Jan-2019 - Question 1

Explain methods and principles of personal identification. 250 marks. 15 marks.

For Question 2 - Click Here

Model Answer

Forensic anthropology is application of physical anthropologists’ knowledge of human sexual, racial, age and individual variations to the problems of medical jurisprudence. One among them is personal identification.

The need of personal identification arises in matters of unexpected deaths (homicide, suicide etc), decomposed/mutilated bodies, other skeletal remains etc, so as to help legal system arrive at a decision.

Personal identification starts with differentiating the remains under investigation/study (e.g. bones, teeth etc) into those of human origin and non-human origin. Then comes the identification of specific traits like age, sex etc.

Personal identification can be done through

  1. Skeletal remains
  2. Fingerprints
  3. Dentition pattern

Personal identification through skeletal remains

Most prominently the age and sex of the body is identified through skeletal remains. It starts with broader look at the body parts to detect any dental anomalies, healed fractures etc so as to associate the findings with those provided by police/relatives.

Skull and Pelvic bones play a great role in attribution of sex. When both studied together, accuracy rate is 98% and when pelvis studied alone, accuracy rate is 95%.

Male skull is comprised of features like larger in size, medium to large supraorbital ridge, less developed parietal eminence, medium to massive mastoid process, sloping forehead, larger and broader foramen magnum.

Female skull is comprised of features like smaller in size, small to medium supraorbital ridge, prominent parietal eminence, small to medium mastoid process, vertical and round forehead, small in size foramen magnum.

Teeth in males are larger and lower molar has t-cusps. Those in females are smaller and lower molars are four-cusped.

In pelvic bone, sub-pubic angle and greater sciatic notch are two important traits for attribution of sex. Sub-pubic angle is smaller in males (inverted V shaped) and larger in females (inverted U shaped). Greater sciatic notch is deep and narrow in males, broad and shallow in females. Muscles marking can be easily seen on male pelvis compared to female.

Similarly, you can read how to determine age from skeletal remains like long bones and dentition pattern.

Note: There is no template for a correct UPSC answer, the model answer is only for your reference

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