Forensic archaeology plays a vital component in major crime investigations that require the search, location, and recovery of human remains and/or items of forensic significance (personal effects, drugs, weapons, explosives caches, etc.).
Our forensic archaeologists are able to identify possible areas of interest through the preparation of a reconnaissance report. This can be achieved by a desk-based assessment using aerial photographs, ordnance survey and geological maps, and/or a scene attendance which can incorporate a variety of techniques such as archaeological field craft, geophysical and UAV survey, victim recovery dogs, and traditional police search methods.
Forensic archaeological recording techniques can provide fast and accurate data capture which can be used to assist the visual reconstruction of a scene. They can provide information on how a clandestine grave may have been dug, the possible circumstances surrounding the deposition of human remains, and identify any post-depositional disturbances or events that may have subsequently affected the human remains or the crime scene.
We advocate an integrated approach using both a forensic archaeologist and a forensic anthropologist at the crime scene. Used together, these scientists can rapidly maximise the recording and interpretation of the scene, the excavation and recovery of human remains, the identification and documentation of post-mortem modifications and processes, and undertake specific targeting and sampling of forensic ecology evidence types.