Volume 32, Issue 6 (November 1987)
A Case with Bear Facts
During the summer of 1985, human skeletal remains along with accompanying material culture and various debris were discovered beside a logging road in Northern California. An analysis of the human remains and debris, which ran the gamut from a badly damaged 1974 automobile to the feces of a large mammal, revealed that an adult male Caucasoid, who had at one time had skull surgery performed, was partially eaten by a large carnivore, probably a bear. Along with the unusual circumstances surrounding this case which make it interesting, the fact that the victim's identity was later established allowed an opportunity to gain insight into some of the techniques employed by forensic physical anthropologists to discern sex, race, age, stature, and individual features. A review of some techniques is offered.