Nan Silvernail's Reviews > Bone Voyage: A Journey in Forensic Anthropology

Bone Voyage by Stanley Rhine
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Sep 28, 2011

really liked it
Read from September 28 to October 01, 2011

With his dry wit and funny puns coupled with knowledge and compassion, Professor Emeritus Rhine (whom it was my great honor to take a class from at the University of New Mexico *) illustrates the serious value of the Forensic Anthropologist to the identification of human bodies and the discovery of how they perished. The cases he discusses in this book range from a case where a porcupine, an ancient American Indian skull *and* parts of a cow in a burned car (yes, in the same car) were mistaken for a missing man to the ugly aftermath of the New Mexico State Penitentiary riot. Along with these, he presents the history of the role of Coroner and the establishment and rise of the Office of the Medical Examiner (OMI) here in New Mexico and how the Forensic Anthropologist has an important role in this office.

Dr. Rhine is tall and bears a passing resemblance to a skinny Mark Twain, especially when he is smoking a cigar. He speaks softly and writes in printing even smaller than my own. His humor sense is highly developed but doled out in quick and small packages. This is not to say he is not a very serious man. In class, he insisted on bones being treated with respect and care and rightly so. I wish my own skull had been placed on a rounded bean-bag with as much care before it was placed on a body board as his standards dictated after a car accident I suffered!

He's made this book appealing to the learned professional while being still quite accessible to the lay person. It is a fun read. Some photographs could have used a bit more notation (and one is presented reversed, but concerns live persons).

I can highly recommend this!

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* - and I'd have happily taken more except that he retired. Alas for me!
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09/28/2011 page 87
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