Can an anthropologist solve a murder? Take the forensic anthropology quiz.


"CSI. Forensic Files. Extreme Forensics. NCIS." Televisions shows that explore the science of crime scene investigation are wildly popular. They depict how science assists law enforcement. One of the scientific fields is forensic anthropology.

start quiz

Question 1 of 20

Forensic anthropology deals with _________.

human artifacts
skeletal remains
soft tissue
all of the above

... Forensic anthropologists examine human skeletons for law enforcement purposes, often to identify unknown remains. They can determine characteristics such as sex, general health and age.


Question 2 of 20

Which of the following is a job of forensic anthropologists?

collecting trace evidence, such as hairs
matching dental records to remains
performing autopsies
none of the above

... Forensic anthropologists generally are NOT the crime scene generalists as shown in the media -- the ones collecting hairs, matching dental records and performing autopsies. Instead, they deal with bones only.


Question 3 of 20

Which of the following crime-solving activities would a forensic anthropologist NOT usually perform?

conduct analyses to shed light on bullet or stab wounds
collect human remains at a crime scene
run DNA tests
testify in court

... Forensic anthropologists can perform many skeletal-related functions to assist law enforcement personnel. This includes work at the crime scene and in the lab, though they are not usually involved in DNA analysis.


Question 4 of 20

What terminal degree is usually required to become a forensic anthropologist?

bachelor's degree
master's degree
doctoral degree

... Forensic anthropologists need a PhD in physical anthropology. Prior to that, they usually have bachelor's and/or a master's in anthropology or a related field.


Question 5 of 20

Certification from the American Board of Forensic Anthropology is _________.

not required
required before gaining a PhD
required before being employed professionally

... A working forensic anthropologist does not need recognition from the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, but certification does indicate successful completion of educational requisites as well as practical and written examinations.


Question 6 of 20

Most forensic anthropologists ___________.

only teach at a university
work part-time on cases with law enforcement
work full-time on cases with law enforcement

... The majority of forensic anthropologists work at universities and forensic facilities, but they are involved in law enforcement cases only part-time. The rest of the time most of them teach and research in other areas of anthropology.


Question 7 of 20

Anthropology has many sub-fields; which of the following includes forensic anthropology?

cultural anthropology
linguistic anthropology
physical anthropology

... Physical anthropology covers many areas, such as forensic anthropology, genetics, primatology, dental anthropology and human growth and development.


Question 8 of 20

Forensic anthropologists working for the military are primarily involved in _________.

identifying MIA and POW personnel
identifying remains of soldiers from current military actions
Teaching at military facilities such as West Point
working with the military police

... Forensic anthropologists in the military usually identify soldiers who have not been accounted for in past wars through such departments as the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command.


Question 9 of 20

The American Academy of Forensic Science, a professional society, was founded in ___________.


... The AAFS, which represents professionals such as forensic anthropologists, toxicologists, dentists, lawyers and medical doctors, was founded in 1948.


Question 10 of 20

Forensic anthropologists work, in part, from a database of statistics such as height, weight and age. Much of the information for this database came from __________.

World War I
World War II
the Vietnam War
China's Cultural Revolution

... The process of identifying dead soldiers during Word War II and the Korean War was facilitated by the medical data collected from soldiers, such as height, weight, age, and medical and dental histories. This created a huge database from which forensic anthropologists could draw.


Question 11 of 20

In 1879, the U.S. Congress established the Bureau of American Ethnology to gather anthropological information. Which branch of anthropology was NOT included in this data collection?

cultural anthropology
linguistic anthropology
physical anthropology

... The Bureau was created to collect cultural, linguistic and archeological data on Native Americans and the Louisiana Purchase territory. Physical anthropology was not acknowledged as a science at that point in time.


Question 12 of 20

Forensic anthropologist and author Dr. Clea Koff worked to develop the Missing Persons Identification Resource Center (MPID), which assists in identifying missing people in _________.

the United States

... Koff founded a non-profit organization that gathers information to help facilitate identification of approximately 40,000 unidentified bodies in American coroners' offices.


Question 13 of 20

Dr. William Bass, a forensic anthropologist, started an outdoor research facility nicknamed the _________ for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

body farm
cadaver ranch
corpse cove

... On the "body farm," donated corpses are placed in a variety of places so their decomposition can be studied by students and researched by academics and practitioners.


Question 14 of 20

About how many corpses are on the body farm?


... At any given time, there are about 40 bodies spread throughout the three-acre facility.


Question 15 of 20

Dr. Sara Bisel was a pioneer in the forensic anthropology field; much of her research centered on which volcanic eruption?

Mount Vesuvius
Mount St. Helens

... Bisel's research focused on the village of Herculaneum, destroyed in the 79 A.D. eruption of Mount Vesuvius that also buried the city of Pompeii.


Question 16 of 20

Dr. Kathy Reichs, author of a best-selling series about forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, still works as a forensic anthropology consultant for law enforcement in _________.

British Columbia
North Carolina

... Formerly, Reichs worked as a consultant for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina; she still consults with the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Medecine Legale for the province of Quebec.


Question 17 of 20

Dr. Kathy Reichs is a producer of the TV show _________.

Body of Proof (2011)
Bones (2005)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000)
The Killing (2011)

... A variation of Reich's character Temperance Brennan is a forensic anthropologist at the fictional Jeffersonian Museum in the TV series "Bones."


Question 18 of 20

Reichs finds some realism lacking on TV crime shows such as Bones. Which example from television IS realistic job-related behavior?

the contentious inter-departmental relationships
the high rate of crimes solved
the high-tech investigative gadgets characters use
the identification of skeletons that are decades old

... It IS quite possible to attach a name to a skeleton years after the person died, according to Reichs. However, not as many cases are solved as TV makes it seem. Also, there are relatively few inter-departmental conflicts and, while all the technology seen on "Bones" does exist, much of it is too expensive to be used in an ordinary forensic lab.


Question 19 of 20

World-renowned forensic anthropologist Dr. William Maples examined skeletal remains of all of the following EXCEPT ________.

Czar Nicholas II of Russia
Genoan explorer Christopher Columbus
Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro
U.S. president Zachary Taylor

... Maples studied many famous skeletons, but he was unable to fulfill his ambition of studying the several skeletons in Europe that are suspected of being the remains of explorer Christopher Columbus.


Question 20 of 20

When did law enforcement agencies begin seeking assistance from anthropologists?

the late 19th century

... During the 1930s, the rise of organized gangs and the ensuing murders led the FBI to obtain assistance from physical anthropologists. Forensic anthropology eventually became a subsection of physical anthropology.


More Curiosity

The 10 Most Amazing Places on Earth

The 10 Most Amazing Places on Earth

When you're surrounded by cubicles and concrete, it's easy to forget that we live on a planet packed full of breathtaking natural beauty, so take a trip with us as we explore 10 of the very best the Earth has to offer.

Top 10 Memorable TV Moments Ever

Top 10 Memorable TV Moments Ever

From The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show to the latest breaking news, TV makes more memories than there are viewers. Here are 10 of the most talked-about broadcasts in television history.