Willow Grove, Pennsylvania (USA) [Posted by the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum webmaster]
I (and my colleague) are burying a 400lb, dead pig at the Rutgers Pinelands Field Station in preparation for a 2-day training exercise for law enforcement professionals. The aim of the exercise is to introduce the concepts and methods of forensic archaeology. Forensic archaeology is the application of archaeological methodology and techniques to forensic investigations including crime scene examination and human remains recovery. Through excavation and the analysis of recovered artifacts, archaeologists compile a picture of human interactions, motivations, and sequences of events. Skills that are routine in archaeology such as documentation, excavation, and a methodical approach, can greatly increase the amount of evidence recovered at a scene.
I discovered forensic archaeology completely by mistake in 2001 when I went to the UK for a Masters program. It was the best career change I could have possibly hoped for: bringing archaeology into the present to bring justice and closure to the families of homicide victims. This course first ran in May 2012 very successfully, and the next course will take place in September. More information on the course can be found at: http://forensicscienceeducation.org/forensic-archaeology-to-maximize-evidence-recovery-a-2-day-field-exercise/.
By Kimberlee Sue Moran, RPA. Center for Forensic Science Research & Education