Lecture 9 - Forensic Archaeology

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Lecture 9 Forensic Archaeology
Archaeologists are specialists at recovering information and reconstructing
behaviors from the context of physical evidence at sites
o Forensic setting is unique!
Forensic Archaeology is the application of standard archaeological
techniques slightly modified to meet the requirements of crime scene
processing where a skeleton(s) or a body is present”
Particularly important in determining if scenes are forensic when
skeletonized remains are involved
o Very valuable because of their training in mapping and inferring
sequences of events in the disposition of the site
Crime Scene Investigation
o Crime scene investigations have always been recognized as
fundamental to forensic science, evidence collected from the scene
guides the path of further investigations and forms the basis of the
case presented in court
o Integrity of the material evidence must be carefully protected by
proper collection, preservation, analysis and documentation
o Use of new techniques (e.g. total station, digital cameras etc.) and
the minute scale of evidence
o Increasing use archaeological techniques
o Archaeologists and skeletal biologists are consulted when
skeletonized remains are found
o Context is everything!
Value of anthropology for ‘in situ’ analysis
o Greater accuracy in evidence collection
o Increased probability of collecting all evidence
o Recovery of maximum amounts of material
o Prevention of post mortem damage
o Value of archaeology inference and reconstructing sequence of
events involved in the deposition of the remains