Now, physical anthropology is usually thought of as forensic anthropology and vice versa; this is not the case. Just like physical anthropology is a sub-field of anthropology, physical anthropology has its own sub-fields; one of which is forensic. The others are human biology, primatology, paleoanthropology, skeletal biology and osteology, and paleoanthology. These terms are pretty self explanatory...that is all except osteology. Osteology is, plain and simple, the study of bones, and in the case of physical anthropology, human bones. I am sure that you have seen in crime shows when they know whether the bone is human or animal, the way they figure this out is by working with actual bones. I use the phrase “actual bones” because some undergraduate colleges have replicas. These replicas will not work when trying to learn how to differentiate what is human and what is not. For example the macrostructure (overall structure) of the cortical bone (the outer surface of the bone), in humans is porous, more so than that of an animal. This level of detail cannot be replicated, and if it can, plastic feels and looks nothing like real bone.
(The image below: "“relative thickness of animal and human diaphysis (the shaft or central part of a long bone) cortical bone")
School...this is the most important word to any budding anthropologist no matter what sub-field they want to go into. Well..school, studying, and good grades. I am not here to lecture you or go all preachy about how important school is but...for me it always has been about school. But that semester where I had into to physical anthropology, I fell even deeper in love with anthropology. I still find it so weird how the thing I want to do with my life was literally inside of me this whole time. And I owe it all to the first physical anthropology professor I have had, and so far the only one. I truly wish that in my life I will have many more who are able to effectively teach this art...this art called physical anthropology.
Please feel free to comment on what you thought of the blog, or other physical anthropological subjects you would like me to cover.