Identifying unknown individuals is a key part of forensic anthropology.Anthropologists assist in identifications primarily by constructing a biological profile.First Nations and Native American people have occupied North America for thousands of years.Over time, these groups moved in and out of their territories and often buried their dead along the way according to the current customs.This ensures they make as full a recovery as possible.Inventories are also important from a criminalistic perspective for establishing what elements are or are not, present.This includes estimating age, sex, stature, and ancestry, as well as identifying specific characteristics, like diseases or injuries.
In all cases, it is very important to the understanding and resolution of the case that the anthropologist be as accurate as possible about how many victims were involved.
It is the anthropologist's job to address the comingling and determine which individuals are represented by which bones. Establishing the number of individuals is very important, especially if the case involves a crime.
Multiple individuals may be killed together or separate victims may be dumped in the same place over a longer period of time.
The absence of certain elements can provide a great deal of information regarding perimortem events, taphonomy, and perpetrator behaviour.
In addition to establishing which elements are present, anthropologists must determine the number of individuals involved.
To do these things, an anthropologist begins by asking a series of important questions.