FRS502 - Forensic Anthropology - Rural Crime Scenes

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-04-11 08:33:38.803
Last review date 2018-04-11 08:33:51.755

Subject Title
Forensic Anthropology - Rural Crime Scenes

Subject Description
This course demonstrates how the principles of forensic anthropology and forensic archaeology are used in the positive identification of human beings. The theories and methodologies employed in the examination of human skeletal remains can determine such identifying traits as racial affinity, sexual morphology, stature, chronological age at time of death, elapsed time since death, and socio-economic status. Such identification is explored during lectures and in hands-on application in the lab. In the field component of the course, working groups are required to process a crime scene from start to finish, including: initial scene analysis, gridding, measuring, recording, screening, excavation and recovery of the remains, concluding with a de-briefing session and presentation.

Credit Status
One credit in the Forensic Investigative Studies program.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

  1. List, describe and compare the four methods used in the estimation of the chronological age of the victim at the time of death.
  2. Examine and describe the major growth and appearance differences (apart from size) found in the bones of individuals who are classified as neonate, infant, sub-adult and adult.
  3. Describe three environmental and three taphonomic factors that influence the decomposition sequence that occurs in human remains and demonstrate how each of these factors can influence the estimation of the elapsed time of death and the subsequent discovery of the remains.
  4. Conduct a crime scene examination at a site that has scattered surface human remains.
  5. Describe and demonstrate the methodology used in excavating a forensic shallow grave.
  6. Analyze several surface features that may be indicative of the presence of a forensic burial.
  7. Discuss how remote sensing technology and subsurface radar is applied in the search for clandestine graves.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

Prescribed Texts
Forensic Anthropology Training Manual 3rd edition,
by Karen Ramey Burns, Taylor and Francis, ISBN# 978-0-205-02259-5

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Approved by: Sandra Noble