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Application Of Forensic Archaeology Essay

1403 words - 6 pages

Forensic Archaeology applied to the Mass Graves cases

Author Note 

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 even found its deployment in other cases or even other scientific fields.

Introduction:
Forensic Archaeology is a forensic science, which applies archaeological techniques and methods, and put them in legal context. The principles and knowledge of this science are used, not only for studying and 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 or buried remains. So, despite great variety of the things they do, they are usually used for finding and exploring small item from a victim of crime that are buried, and that can be of great evidential value. Then, they are 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 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 archaeologist 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 gaining historical insights, but recording evidence, identifying individuals´ remains and hopefully future indictments.
Before the Forensic Archaeology was developed in the min 1990s, police would dig up graves without paying attention to archaeological context of the sight or any other evidence than body itself, which consequently led to the irretrievable loss of evidence. On the other hand, grave excavation that is done under archaeological conditions can provide significant and solid evidence that will give answers to the questions considering time and circumstances of the burial, manner of death, and what tools or techniques might have been used for interment. ( Soren Blau.2011.)

Early Beginnings:
Regardless the facts that the most famous mass graves are those that are the consequence of the Second World War, they are not just the post-War thing. Archaeologist excavated mass graves thousands of years old. Such grave sites are the burial of Pu’abi, or mass burial from the Battle of Towton. One interesting fact is these excavations of mass graves that are the result of World War II, was in most cases conducted by military or other non-experts. The turning point for Forensic archaeology and mass grave recovery was 1986. when the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF) was put...

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