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The skull with the Mona Lisa smile

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Author Topic: The skull with the Mona Lisa smile  (Read 300 times)
Mia Knight
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Posts: 510

« on: May 28, 2011, 03:15:02 pm »

Yet facial reconstruction is a controversial technique in forensic science owing primarily to its subjectivity[4].  The contemporary practice was championed by anthropologist Wilton Krogman[5] in the 1960s[6], and forensic artists have been steadily working since then.  Methods of creating a face from a skull include both 2D drawings based on photographs or x-rays of the skull and sculptures or computerized 3D models based on general information about average musculature and tissue thickness.  The problems with forensic facial reconstruction include the lack of information about how tissue thickness varies by body type, particularly in terms of age, sex, and weight, as well as a lack of standardization in methodologies used to create the faces[7].  Forensic artists cannot accurately reconstruct eye colour, hairstyle, skin colour, or nose shape from a skull – traits whose variation is precisely what allows us to distinguish someone we know in a crowd. In the U.S. federal courts, forensic artists cannot testify as expert witnesses because each facial reconstruction is different and the data they are based on are incomplete.  The technique therefore does not meet the Daubert Standard[8], a legal precedent about the admissibility of scientific evidence.[9] Innovations in computer-assisted modelling are advancing this field[10], but it remains largely a subjective interpretation of living facial features from skeletal remains.
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