Pediatric anthropology and odontology

Soren Blau, Anthony J. Hill

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter details pediatric anthropology and odontology. Because definitions of a child vary in the literature, the chapter commences with a discussion about terminology and outlines the age ranges used by the authors. A brief summary is provided of situations where the expertise of a forensic anthropologist and/or odontologist may be required. This may be in estimating the age of living individuals in clinical cases, assessing alleged bite marks, and examining and analyzing juvenile skeletal remains to assist with identification of the individual and provide descriptions and interpretations about dental and skeletal traumatic injuries. The accuracy and precision with which the forensic anthropologist and odontologist can identify an unknown individual from their skeletal and/or dental remains depends not only on the preservation of the remains but also on available comparative standards. Therefore, reference collections and population-specific standards are discussed. Preservation is then considered as a variable that may influence the study of juvenile remains. The role of the forensic anthropologist is to differentiate between human and nonhuman skeletal remains, develop a biological profile (ancestry, sex, age, and stature), and assess changes in the skeleton which may be evidence of disease and/or trauma. Each of these analyses is considered in detail highlighting the advantages and limitations of the methods used when dealing with juvenile remains. A number of case studies are provided that illustrate examples of applications of forensic anthropology and odontology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationForensic Pathology of Infancy and Childhood
Number of pages45
ISBN (Electronic)9781617794032
ISBN (Print)1617794023, 9781617794025
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014

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