Forensic anthropology is the examination of skeletal remains. This examination can be used to first determine if the remains are in fact human. Then the forensic anthropologist can determine the gender, approximate age, physical stature, and likely racial affiliation of the person in life. The examination can also yield approximate time since death, likely cause of death and any identifying illnesses or wounds suffered in life that could leave traces in the bone structure. This information can then be used to help identify the remains.
Forensic archaeology uses classic archaeological means for the systematic recovery of buried remains and other artifacts of the burial. Information can also be gleaned by the analysis of pollen, soil, seeds, and insects excavated from the site. These are all recovered and documented if archaeological training is used.
The main factors used in forensic studies are: