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In forensic science, the reading of fingerprints, a method of establishing identity, is a very important tool, known as dactyloscopy. In fact, identity has been an important topic since ancient times.
At that time, the need for reliable identification arose. Because fingerprints are unique, the fingerprint pattern is different for each person. The reason why this method began to be investigated was since it has long been known that people differ from each other by their physical features, such as the face or the shape of the head, but that this does not work for identification and is unreliable.
Therefore, the experts of the time decided to base the identification on a relatively simple and easy to apply system of skin tags. This turned out to be a great idea since fingerprints had been known for a long time and were even capable of recognizing differences between people. The ancients used clay stamps to identify fingerprints.
The Assyrians and Babylonians made clay seals for their important documents and stamped them with the tips of their thumbs. And for the Chinese, an official act was only valid if it was identified with a clay seal. Important documents such as contracts, divorces, and payments to mercenaries were also recorded. Everything was authenticated with fingerprints.
In modern times, thanks to the investigations of the last two hundred years, modern forensic science has also resorted to this method. Although, thanks to advances in computer technology, people no longer press their thumbs into clay stamps. As the databases have been supplemented with other biometric data, fingerprints are not missing from current criminal databases.
Interestingly, the pattern of the fingers is formed before birth and does not change after. It also remains until the body dissolves. Lastly, footprints are easy to record and classify using formulas. This adaptability is not affected by the fact that fingerprints can be worn with age, or by manual work, or can be distorted between two identifications by mechanical or chemical means. Thus, criminals have long realized that skin tags are very difficult to get rid of, and just as impossible to remove by rubbing acid, rubbing stones, or poking with needles as it is when only the top layer of skin is damaged. the skin, for the reason that the papillary lines regenerate, after which the marks appear in their original form. In practice, it can only be removed if there is a deep laceration or third degree burn, after which the frills will not be drawn. In particular, the calculations of the English polymath Francis Galton (1822-1911) made it clear that, due to the enormous number of possible patterns, 64,000 million, it is practically impossible for two people to have identical fingerprints. It was precisely on the basis of these singularities that dactyloscopy was extracted, which became the police identification registration system. Although the process of identifying fingerprints dates back thousands of years, scientific analysis of fingerprints did not begin until a few hundred years ago. In 1684, the English anatomist Grew wrote a report for the Royal Society in which he described the pores and patterns of the skin in detail.
Written by Dezső Sándor