Forensic anthropologists can help in documenting and explaining skeletal trauma in relation to violent death; their interpretation can assist the forensic pathologist.
There are five primary types of trauma, which the forensic anthropologist can help analyse: blunt force, sharp force, ballistic, burning and blast trauma.
The forensic anthropologist can assess the skeleton directly (or indirectly through the use of imaging methods such as x-ray or CT), and can provide information relating to:
- The type of trauma.
- Whether trauma occurred before, around, or after death.
- Number of wounds, their relative sequence, and direction of delivery.
- The possible tool or weapon type which may have caused the trauma.
- Whether the trauma may be accidental or deliberate in nature.