Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program

Forensic Facial Reconstruction

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Forensic Facial Reconstruction - © Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program

Forensic facial reconstruction (or forensic facial approximation) is the process of recreating the face of an individual (whose identity is often not known) from their skeletal remains through an amalgamation of artistry, anthropology, osteology, and anatomy. It is easily the most subjective—as well as one of the most controversial—techniques in the field of forensic anthropology.

In addition to remains involved in criminal investigations, facial reconstructions are created for remains believed to be of historical value and for remains of prehistoric hominids and humans.

There are two forms pertaining to identification in forensic anthropology: circumstantial and positive.

Circumstantial identification is established when an individual fits the biological profile of a set of skeletal or largely skeletal remains. This type of identification does not prove or verify identity because any number of individuals may fit the same biological description.

Positive identification, one of the foremost goals of forensic science, is established when a unique set of biological characteristics of an individual are matched with a set of skeletal remains. This type of identification requires the skeletal remains to correspond with medical or dental records, unique ante mortem wounds or pathologies, DNA analysis, and still other means.

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