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.