Medicolegal anthropology in France

Iscan M., Quatrehomme G.

FORENSIC SCIENCE INTERNATIONAL, vol.100, pp.17-35, 1999 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Medicolegal anthropology has a very long history in France. Basic studies on human skeletal remains started as early as the 18th century. The 19th century produced many medical theses and research papers on age, sex, as well as stature estimation. The research proliferated in the first 60 years of the 20th century, much of which is still in use in France and abroad. The later half of the 20th century, however, was dormant in research on human skeletal biology at a time when forensic anthropology was becoming an active field worldwide. In the last decade, medicolegal anthropology took a different perspective:, independent of its traditional roots. Research and practice have both been in the professional domain of forensic physicians unlike the situation in many other countries. Population based studies requiring large databases or skeletal collections have diminished considerably. Thus, most research has been on factors of individualization such as trauma, time since death, crime scene investigation, and facial reconstruction. It is suggested that there is a need for cooperation between the forensic physician and anthropologist to further research. This also encourages anthropologists to carry out research and practice that can fulfill the needs of the medicolegal system of the country. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.