Forensic Archaeology Applied to Mass Grave Cases Essay

Forensic Archaeology Applied to Mass Grave Cases Essay

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The aim of this essay is to show how knowledge, methods, and techniques of forensic archaeology applied and developed in one case, have evolved and has even found its deployment in other cases or even other scientific fields.
Forensic Archaeology is a forensic science, which applies archaeological techniques and methods, and puts them in legal context. The principles and knowledge of this science are used, not only for studying and to gain a better understanding of historical events that took place decades or centuries ago, but also for locating and collecting evidence at crime scenes providing aid with solving crimes. Even though there is wide range of possibilities for Forensic Archaeology to be put to use, forensic archaeologists are usually employed to locate, excavate and make records of buried remains. (Graves-Brown et al. 2013).Sigler-Eisenberg (1985), presents that despite the great variety of things they do, their main purpose is finding and exploring items from the victim of a crime that are buried, and that can be of great evidential value. They are then employed for locating possible gravesites and recovering any human remains, and at the same time recording evidence that can be associated with the remains. All this is done in order to complete the reconstruction of the events that have happened prior to the victim´s burial. Also, their expertise is required in cases when body disposals surface under some unpredicted circumstances. And at last, forensic archaeologists help with uncovering mass graves. In most cases these are investigations conducted by international organisations. The main focuses of investigations like these are not only to gain historical insights, but to record evidence, identify individuals´ rema...

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... MIfA, Sibun Lucy BSc PgDip AIf. Standards and guidance for forensic Archaeologists. Retrieved from

Skinner Mark et al.(2003). Guidelines for International Forensic Bio-archaeology Monitors of Mass Grave Exhumations. Forensic Science International 134 (2003) 81–92
Steele Caroline. (2008). Archaeology and the Forensic Investigation of Recent Mass Graves: Ethical Issues for a New Practice of Archaeology. Archaeologies: Journal of the World Archaeological Congress.
Sigler-Eisenberg Brenda. (1985). Forensic Research: Expanding the Concept of Applied Archaeology. (Jul., 1985).pp. 650-655

Tuller Hugh. (2012). Mass Graves and Human Rights: Latest Developments, Methods, and Lessons Learnedmore. Retrieved from

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