Topic ID #36652 - posted 1/25/2016 10:30 AM

Field School and Laboratory Methods in Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology

UMass Bioarch

Field School and Laboratory Methods in Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology

May 16 – June 24, 2016 (Class will run M-F, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with no class on Memorial Day)

Dr. Ventura Pérez, Director
Sarah Mathena-Allen, Instructor

Course Description:
This course introduces students to the role of the biological anthropologist, archaeologist and forensic scientist in excavations of human remains.

The course will be divided into three units.
  1. The first unit will introduce students to field and laboratory techniques, including familiarity with the human skeletal system, recognizing what constitutes bioarchaeological or forensic data, and violence theory. 
  2. The second section consists of the students entering the field to gain hands-on experience. Excavations are of a pseudo-crime scene and pseudo-archaeological burial, and helps the students develop knowledge through the “Low Stakes, High Impact” learning model.. 
  3. The third unit will focus on laboratory techniques used to analyze the data generated from these two excavation sites. 
Students will leave the course with hands-on experience in excavating human remains and associated archaeological materials, critically analyzing and engaging with osteological data, writing field summaries and site reports, and presenting research findings. In addition, we will explore key concepts in ethics, repatriation, medicolegal death investigation and regulations regarding unmarked burials.


We encourage both academic and non-academic applicants to apply! We've had non-traditional students, former military members, artists with archaeology backgrounds, and many traditional students from many different institutions across the country enroll in the past seasons.

Enrollment is by permission of the instructor. Students wishing to enroll must submit an application by April 1, 2016, to:

Sarah Mathena-Allen
Department of Anthropology
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003.

Email applications are also accepted:

Applications and more information are available on our website:

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Students from the 2015 Field School excavating plastinate skeletons

Post ID#20748 - replied 2/11/2016 1:26 PM

UMass Bioarch

For further updates, scholarship information, and related information, please visit the field school Facebook page:


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