What is Forensic Anthropology?
Forensic anthropology is the application of the science of physical or biological anthropology to the legal process. Physical or biological anthropologists who specialize in forensics primarily focus their studies on the human skeleton.
What is the Practice of Forensic Anthropology?
•  The analysis of skeletal, badly decomposed, or otherwise unidentified human remains is important in both legal and humanitarian contexts.
•  Forensic anthropologists apply standard scientific techniques developed in physical anthropology to analyze human remains, and to aid in the detection of crime.
•  In addition to assisting in locating and recovering human skeletal remains, forensic anthropologists work to assess the age, sex, ancestry, stature, and unique features of a decedent from the skeleton.
•  Forensic anthropologists frequently work in conjunction with forensic pathologists, odontologists, and homicide investigators to identify a decedent, document trauma to the skeleton, and/or estimate the postmortem interval.
What is the ABFA?
•  The American Board of Forensic Anthropology was incorporated in 1977 as a non-profit organization to provide, in the public interest and the advancement of science, a program of certification in forensic anthropology. In purpose and organization, the ABFA functions in much the same way as do certifying boards in various medical specialties and other scientific fields.

•  Diplomates are recognized for their special qualifications in forensic anthropology and for meeting the standards set forth by the ABFA. To maintain certification, Diplomates must demonstrate an ongoing record of activities in the field of forensic anthropology and engage in continuing education.


The American Board of Forensic Anthropology is accredited by

The Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board

Why Use an ABFA Board Certified Forensic Anthropologist?
•  ABFA board certification does not merely signify minimal competence to practice; it denotes the highest achievement in the field of forensic anthropology.
•  Diplomate certification is based upon a personal and professional record of education and training, experience, and achievement.
•  Diplomate certification requires rigorous examination, covering both theory and practice.
•  Diplomates adhere to high standards of ethics, conduct, and professional practice in forensic anthropology.
•  The ABFA identifies those persons who are Diplomates in good standing. Medical examiners, coroners, law enforcement officials, attorneys, and others who require the services of a qualified forensic anthropologist are strongly encouraged to consult this web site for updated information on Diplomates of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology.

Please Note: Skeletal images used on this site do not represent actual human remains.

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