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A Forensic Anthropologist applies specialized knowledge of the human skeleton and its cartilaginous structures, as well as archaeological methods, to assist with medicolegal death investigations.

Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

While forensic anthropologists are experts in human skeletal anatomy, there is a common misconception that Forensic Anthropologists only work on dry skeletal remains.
Forensic Anthropologists regularly assist in the interpretation of hard tissues (osseous, dental, and cartilaginous) and assist in cases of fully fleshed, decomposed, burned, and skeletonized remains in the field, mortuary, or laboratory.
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Forensic Anthropologists can provide important information regarding the identity of a decedent or the circumstances around their death. They also frequently assist in the search and recovery of human remains.


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A Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology has attained certification demonstrating expertise in forensic anthropology. Diplomate status is conferred after obtaining a doctorate degree and successfully applying for and passing a rigorous examination that tests core forensic anthropological competencies. A Diplomate is qualified, vetted, adherent to a code of ethics, and demonstrates continued professional development to maintain certification.

ABFA board member MariaTeresa Tersigni-Tarrant identifies an animal's skull.

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The ABFA is the only approved certification body for forensic anthropologists accredited by The Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board (FSAB). It was incorporated in 1977 as a non-profit organization to serve in the interest of the public and the advancement of science.
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Why use an ABFA Certified Forensic Anthropologist
Find an Active Diplomate to assist in your case
Frequently Asked Law Enforcement Questions
Becoming Board Certified
Becoming Board Certified
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