Get Caught

Art-heavy personal blog of mostly Watchmen and Homestuck. Also bones, cats, the human body, SCIENCE!, politics, and Star Trek. Occasionally NSFW but everything's tagged.

Ancestry, Race, and Forensic Anthropology ›


The difficulty in forensic anthropology of using biological variation to figure out a social category is explained really well in this article, and it’s what I really try to drive home to my Intro to Bioanth students.

tl;dr read this and understand why I need to smack the shit out of something every time I hear “race is a social construct except in forensic anthropology.” IT’S A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT ALWAYS.


graveyards are very important and extremely educational, a graveyard can learn u many things about the past! for example, in the past, people used to be alive, but now they are dead

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i only care about inner beauty

like bone structure

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accept death. befriend death. take death out for dinner. marry death. marry a death who reads

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First post on tumblr. It has to be hip. it has to be humerus.image


Nailed it.

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Friend: My mom is a fan of your tumblr lol we died over the crystal skull vodka face!!

Me: Are you serious? Hahaha!

Friend: Haha I always go through your posts with her. My mom loves archaeology.

Me: I plan on trying to convince my supervisors to let me put it (Crystal Head Vodka Skull) into the forensic FORDISC program to see what race/ethnicity it spews out.


1) This made my day.
2) I think I need to make this happen. Cross your fingers my supervisors let me do it! 

The post:

FORDISCFORDISC 3.0 is an interactive computer program, running under Windows, for classifying adults by ancestry and sex using any combination of standard measurements. New features of FORDISC 3.0 are: larger number of variables, including postcranial variables; larger numbers of groups, including Howells’ world wide cranial data; improved pictorial guide to measurements, and improved file management and printer control.

Using ForDisc, a decedent’s biological profile can be created based on measurements from various areas of bones, along with information about the person’s age, height, race, and illnesses. ForDisc uses standard anthropometric measurements including maximum length, maximum breadth, bi-zygomatic breadth, orbital breadth and height, maximum alveolar breadth and width, minimum frontal breadth, basion-bregma, basion-prosthion, cranial base length, bi-auricular breadth, upper facial height and breadth, foramen magnum breadth and length, frontal chord, parietal chord, occipital chord, nasal height and breadth, bi-orbital breadth, interorbital breadth, and mastoid length.


I love stuff like this because as useful a tool as FORDISC can be, it’s super-important when using it to take it in its full social context and to emphasize how the program is just as subject to human foibles and misuses as any other program and not to just blindly accept whatever results it spits out. 

See also:  the time they asked FORDISC to assign a likely racial identity to a soccer ball and it happily complied. 

Freid DL, Jantz RL, Ousley SD (2005) The truth is out there: how NOT to use FORDISC. Poster presented at the 74th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists,Milwaukee, WI April 6

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Skeleton of a mother-to-be (between 18 and 25) and her baby (about 22 weeks). The pregnant woman’s hip size suggests that the twenty-two-week-old fetus was probably her first child. She most likely died from an infection.  Photo via Time

Her hip size? I don’t think so if you mean the literal size of the ilium. Maybe you can tell she was pregnant by the state of specific areas of the hip—grooving on the preauricular sulcus, pubic tubercle extension and pitting on the dorsal edge of the pubis but these are not 100 per cent diagnostic features. Also, it has been suggested (in re. to age estimates) that sexual dimorphism in pubic morphology results from sex specific trends in aging more so than pregnancy and childbirth. 



Excellent, I was just about to make a similar post.

EXACTLY. Many so-called ‘classic scars of parturition’ are also found in men, and none are conclusively diagnostic.

See also: Ubelaker DH and De La Paz JS. 2012. “Skeletal indicators of pregnancy and parturition: a historical review,” Journal of Forensic Sciences 57:4 866-872.



The 8 White Identities, by Barnor Hesse. Breaking down the white gaze.


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If you’re a physical anthropologist and you’ve never thought the axis looks like a little businessman looking at you over stapled fingers I choose to disbelieve you

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