Bone Fracture Interpretation in Anthropology and the Forensic Sciences - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128092040

Bone Fracture Interpretation in Anthropology and the Forensic Sciences

1st Edition

Authors: Steven Symes Ericka L'Abbe
Hardcover ISBN: 9780128092040
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 1st September 2019
Page Count: 500
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Bone Fracture Interpretation in Anthropology and the Forensic Sciences offers a foundation for forensic scientists to use to obtain more knowledge and comprehension during anthropological forensics investigations. Sections cover the documentation, identification, description and interpretation of bone trauma from the perspective of an anthropologist, with specific chapters covering the biomechanics of bone fractures, taphonomy and pseudotrauma, blunt trauma in bone, sharp force injuries in bone, ballistic trauma in bone, the recognition of repetitive and healed bone fractures, fire/thermal-alteration to bone, and the deconstruction of bone trauma.

Throughout the book, readers will be able to evaluate and reflect on their knowledge of fracture patterns and fracture pattern recognition. Case studies are included, thus creating an evidence-based foundation for the information discussed.

Key Features

  • Comprehensively addresses the history, biomechanics, observational research, description and interpretation of bone fracture patterns
  • Includes fracture morphology, fracture patterns, and total body fracture patterns commonly seen in the Medical Examiner’s office
  • Covers five general categories of bone trauma, including blunt, sharp, ballistic, burned and repetitive injuries (healed)
  • Provides illustrative case studies that are used to address the complexity of bone trauma analysis


Forensic anthropologists, forensic pathologists, medico-legal professionals, forensic scientists, tool mark analysts. Graduate students, law enforcement agencies, human rights experts and legal professionals

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Biomechanics and Bone Fractures
3. Pseudo-Trauma and Taphonomy
4. Fracture Patterns in Blunt Force Injuries to Bone
5. Forensic anthropological aspects of child abuse
6. Sharp Force Injuries
7. Ballistic Injuries to Bone
8. Thermal destruction to human remains


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© Academic Press 2020
Academic Press
Hardcover ISBN:

About the Author

Steven Symes

A U.S. forensic anthropologist best known for his expertise in interpreting trauma to bone and a leading authority on saw and knife mark analysis. With 30 years of experience, he has assisted federal, state, local, and international authorities in the identification and analysis of human remains. A sought-after consultant in criminal cases, Dr. Symes has been qualified as an expert for both the prosecution and defense, testifying specifically on forensic tool mark and fracture pattern interpretation in bone, as well as blunt force, ballistic, burned and healing trauma in bone. Certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology and recently retired from the Board of Directors, Dr. Symes has lectured, consulted or testified on trauma cases, among them high-profile human rights cases, in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Peru, El Salvador, Indonesia, Kosovo, South Africa and Europe. In addition, he has authored more than 50 publications and delivered over 100 papers, lectures and workshops on a variety of forensic anthropology topics. He is co-editor of The Analysis of Burned Human Remains, Second Edition published by Elsevier / Academic Press.

Affiliations and Expertise

Mercyhurst College, Department of Anthropology, Erie, PA, USA

Ericka L'Abbe

Dr. L’Abbé’s research focuses on modern human skeletal variation with application to the forensic sciences. She has written more than 200 case reports on unidentified persons for SAPS. She is a diplomat of the American Board of Forensic Anthropologists (DABFA, 84), a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the Anatomical Society of Southern Africa. Collaborative research projects with Mercyhurst College (USA) include investigating alternative approaches to the estimation of ancestry in South Africans and evaluating fracture patterns of hyoid bones in cases of upper body trauma.

Affiliations and Expertise

Associate Professor of Physical Anthropology, Anthropologist, Department of Anatomy, University of Pretoria – Pretoria, South Africa

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