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What is the purpose of a biological profile?detail

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sraghubar | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 6, 2012 at 5:50 PM via web

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What is the purpose of a biological profile?

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bandmanjoe | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted May 8, 2012 at 6:05 PM (Answer #1)

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A bilogical profile is an anthropology term to describe what an ancient person might have looked like, based on the remains of the person.  Usually, anthropologists have little more than parts of a skeleton to go by, but they can reconstruct some amazing details from the bones they ahve and the condition they are in.  For example, we just watched a video in my science class that was about the iceman discovered in the high alpine regions of Tibet.  Scientists fixed the icemans approximate age at 5300 years.  He was preserved by the snow and ice, still had mummified remains, hair, skin, nails, even clothes.  This find was much more than what the average find is that anthropologists work with in reconstructing a biological profile.  From the condition of the bones, the scientist may estimate height, sex, build, race, and other distinguishing physical characteristics.  Scientists may also make prognostications about military service or way the person was killed.  In the case of the iceman, someone killed him by shooting him with an arrow.

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profdano | College Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

Posted May 9, 2012 at 8:04 PM (Answer #2)

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A biological profile is an anthropological term. It is used by anthropologist's and some law enforcement agencies to re-construct things like facial features from a skull. Law enforcement uses these techniques to try and determine the identity of a skeleton or a skull. If the whole skeleton is intact, trained observers can glean the sex of the person. The pelvis, the pelvic inlet and outlet lends to this work. They can also estimate height, build and race. These facts will help in determining the skeletons identity.

Markings or evidence of trauma to the bones may also provide useful information about the cause or manner of death. Any post mortem examination of skeletal remains involves highly trained examiners. Anthropoligists' in different areas of the country are becomming more and more involved in criminalistics.

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