The present brief review is a survey of the role of forensic anthropology (FA) in the new millennium. After an introduction which deals with the expanding definition of the discipline and the issue of professionality and training, the author approaches the role and novel developments of the field, with particular reference to the past 5 years. Such developments are discussed in a sectorial manner, distinguishing the role of research in the areas of forensic anthropology which deal with human remains and those that deal with the living. As regards the “human remains” domain, advances and stalls still present in the fields of species and postmortem interval determination, sexing, aging and attribution of ancestry are stressed. The need for standards in facial reconstruction and positive identification by bone morphology are underlined, as well as the growing role of the anthropologist in detecting signs of trauma. Finally, the relatively new role of the forensic anthropologist in the domain of identification of the living is described, although this area is still underrepresented as regards research activity: these studies concern the strive to devise methods for identifying faces (e.g. in the case of crimes registered by videosurveillance systems), aging living individuals or juveniles represented in pedopornographic material.