Forensic Archaeology Nowadays

January 12, 2021 by Essay Writer

Today, forensic archaeology is considered a well-established and reliable sub-discipline of Physical Anthropology, and can be defined as the application of archaeological techniques and principles relating to the search, recovery and excavation of human and faunal remains, buried evidence and even missing persons; that aids forensic or medico-legal investigations. (Ma´rquez-Grant and Roberts, 2012)

During the early years of the twentieth century, anthropology and its surrounding sub-disciplines were pioneered in the USA but struggled to gain acknowledgement as a valid and reliable science initially. (Stewart, T. D, 1979). Earnest Hooten established the field of physical anthropology and became the first anthropologists to hold a full-time position in the USA. (Shapiro, H. L, 1954) Additionally, another prominent early anthropologist, Thomas Wingate Todd, was primarily responsible for the creation of the first large collection of human skeletons in 1912 and his contributions to the field of anthropology remain in use to this day. These early pioneers formalized the field of anthropology, but it was not until the 1940s, with the help of Todd’s student, Wilton M. Krogman, that forensic anthropology gained recognition as a legitimate sub discipline. Krugman was the first anthropologist to actively publicize anthropologists’ potential forensic value, going as far as placing advertisements in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin informing agencies of the ability of anthropologists to assist in the identification of skeletal remains. During the 1950s, the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps employed forensic anthropologists in the identification of war casualties during the Korean War. It was at this time that forensic anthropology officially began in the US. REWORD. Additionally, In the United Kingdom, Margaret Cox one of an early group of forensic archaeologists to both undertake casework in a criminal context and reflect on work in writing. Cox’s historical of approach to the development of forensic anthropology and archaeology is also apparent in the way in which she combined the practice of international mass atrocity exhumations with the identification, search and location and excavation of clandestine single inhumations more commonly associated with domestic major crime investigation – a theme that could be argued to be a direct reflection of the development period of these disciplines. (Blau and Ubelaker, 2016)

While the lack of definitive recognition of these disciplines in some countries has resulted in limited use and growth of forensic anthropologists and archaeologists in a domestic context. Nevertheless, other countries have pursued to bring the subject areas into the contemporary mainstream through the increased, accreditation of experts and practitioners, academic respectability, expansion of organized university and educational courses, and improved support for detailed reporting and research. Subsequently, after the wide use of forensic anthropologists and archaeologists in the mid-1990s in post conflict sites, the role of the disciplines in global contexts (for instance, in international criminal tribunals or acts of terrorism) in locating, recovering, recording, and analyses of physical evidence to prosecute major human rights violations relating to mass executions, is now very well established.

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