Early in the class we learned about three primary identifiers; which are DNA, fingerprints, and dentition (teeth). Our victim was all bone and had been dead for five years, so DNA and fingerprints were not available. What as left was dentition. Even thought we all have teeth, just like we all have fingerprints, our teeth are distinctive down to the individual level. From cavities, fillings, missing teeth, the state of the 3rd molar (wisdom tooth), are all distinctive. For example, all adult humans have 32 teeth, I, who had braces and had to get teeth pulled, have 28. With our victim she had very distinctive cavities, and some of her 3rd molars were just erupting, and had a tooth missing, but this was most likely postmortem because there is no evidence of healing. The images below show what the dental chart of the victim (left), and the dental chart which was prepared by the dentist of the likely victim (right).
Please feel free to comment on what you thought of the blog, or other physical anthropological subjects you would like me to cover now that the weeks are done.