This UMass Amherst field course introduces students to the role of the biological anthropologist, archaeologist and forensic scientist in the excavation of human remains.

The course is divided into three sections:

The first introduces students to field and laboratory techniques. Topics include:

understanding the human skeletal system pathology and taphonomic analysis discussion of what constitutes bioarchaeological or forensic data the role of violence theory in these fields.

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.

The final section focuses on the laboratory techniques used to analyze the data generated from two pseudo-excavation sites. Throughout the course we explore key concepts in ethics, repatriation, public outreach, medico-legal death investigation, and regulations regarding unmarked burials.

Through excavation and lab analysis this field school addresses three major questions in the fields of bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology:

What constitutes data in these fields? How are excavations and fieldwork done? How do you analyze field data in the laboratory? In addition, students will learn how professionals work in the field, examine ethical issues and guidelines, and explore questions of what constitutes violence and how we recognize evidence of violence on human remains and material objects.

Application Materials can be found at our website. Applications due April 1. Please contact us at our email address with any questions regarding the field school.


Field school's sexual harassment policy as submitted

The Umass Field School in Forensic Anthropology and Bioarchaeology strictly adheres to the University of Massachusetts Amherst Sexual Harassment Policy which can below with further details in our link: The University of Massachusetts Amherst is committed to providing faculty, staff and students with an environment where they may pursue their careers or studies without being sexually harassed. Sexual harassment of or by any member of the University community is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. It is illegal and constitutes a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Massachusetts G.L.c.151B and 151C. For the purposes of this policy, it is defined as follows: Unwelcomed sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when: 1) submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or academic work; or 2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual; or 3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or sexually offensive working or academic environment.

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