Advances in Forensic Anthropological Research in East and Southeast Asia

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Matthew C. Go
Sean D. Tallman
Jieun Kim


Diversity has been a central focus within anthropology since its disciplinary origins. In forensic anthropology this has come to include understanding the wide range of physical variation present in the human species across the spectra of geographies, generations, life stages, sexes, and different lived experiences for the purposes of estimating group membership and identification. Research has particularly flourished in the Americas and Europe largely owing to a history of prominent scholars, well-equipped university graduate programs and facilities, and large skeletal reference collections that characterize these regions. Strides in professionalizing the discipline have also been accomplished through the establishment of certifying bodies, specifically the American Board of Forensic Anthropology in 1977, the Latin American Association of Forensic Anthropology (Asociación Latinoamericana de Antropología Forense) in 2003, and the Forensic Anthropology Society of Europe in 2003. Relative to these areas and the populations studied therein, East and Southeast Asia have received less scholarly attention, particularly in North America. This is surprising given that the diversity found in these regions represents a substantial
portion of worldwide variation and that these regions are home to many forensically significant (i.e., vulnerable) populations.

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