Bone Voyage: A Journey in Forensic Anthropology

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A husband preserved in mothballs, a vigilante victim encased in red mud, and convicts beaten and burned in a prison riot are only a few of the cases of death examined here by forensic anthropologist Stanley Rhine. Drawing on cases he worked for the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator, Rhine demonstrates how unidentified skeletal remains indicate race, sex, age, height, and ultimately identity and how the specialist decodes skeletal anomalies to establish cause of death. Blunt trauma, gunshot and knife wounds, and other injuries receive his attention.

Step by step the author explains the techniques used to solve forensic mysteries. At the end of each case, he explains what lessons the forensic anthropologist learns from the bones. Rhine also explores specific problems and tasks: working mass disasters; recovering bodies from the field; defleshing bones; examining charred and badly decomposed remains; testifying before juries; and others.

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Editorial Reviews

American Journal of Human Biology
. . . an excellent view of the world of forensic anthropology. . . . The voyage provided to us by Rhine is well-worth taking.
Anthropology Review Database
This is an enormous contribution to the forensic anthropology literature.
CHOICE Magazine
The author's clear and entertaining style, along with descriptive passages that rival those encountered in a good novel, make this an excellent choice for the casual reader and for anyone interested in forensic science or "who done it" mysteries.
The Connective Tissue
The cases are well-chosen . . . This is a text that both lay person and professional anthropologist can appreciate. . . . it entices the reader to continue on, at the same time inparting useful information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826319685
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/1998
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 290
  • Sales rank: 1,266,847
  • Product dimensions: 6.11 (w) x 9.05 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Morgue
1 A Premature Funeral: Bones and Fire 1
2 Picking up the Pieces: Search, Discovery, and Recovery of Bodies 21
3 The Skeleton in the Closet: The Flow of Information to and from the Forensic Anthropologist 53
4 Listening to the Bones: Determination of Age, Sex, Stature, Race, and Other Things 77
5 The End of the World: Decomposed Bodies, Autopsies, and Case Reports 109
6 Forensic Anthropology: A Short History 131
7 To Mexico ... the Long Way: The Intricacies of Identification 155
8 Medicolegal Investigation: The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator 181
9 Nefarious Application of Force to the Skeleton: Sharp and Blunt Force Skeletal Trauma 203
10 A Plethora of Bodies: Forensic Anthropology in Mass Disasters 225
Afterword 245
Glossary 249
References 257
Index 265
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2003

    Wonderful Book!

    This is an incredible book for anyone interested in forensic anthropology, or simply forensic science in general. The cases are fascinating and the author's presentation adept. I highly recommend it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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