How does forensic archaeology differ from traditional archaeology?


How does forensic archaeology differ from traditional archaeology?


Archaeology is the study of the human past using excavation techniques and examination of physical evidence, including artifacts to try and reconstruct how people lived. Archaeology has many subfields, including historical archaeology and forensic archaeology.

Answer and Explanation: 1

Forensic archaeology differs from traditional archaeology in that it is used to examine crime scenes. Traditional archaeological methods may be used in this context, but the goal is different. Also, forensic archaeologists have a more flexible excavation protocol than traditional archaeologists; however, they use the same methodologies for the collecting and recording of evidence that traditional archaeologists use for artifacts. Evidence can include personal items from burials or other crime scenes such as clothing, lighters, wallets, jewelry, and so on...

Forensic archaeologists also borrow some of the same technologies that traditional archaeologists use, like geophysical surveys that can detect anomalies in the ground, including burials. Forensic archaeologists aid investigators in determining whether human remains are recent or from the past and can help narrow down how long a body was buried using their knowledge of such things as the decomposition rate of clothing. Forensic archaeologists are also deployed to excavate mass graves that contain unknown remains of suspected war crime victims, as well as, to examine disaster scenes, such as plane crashes and mass casualty events, like bombings.

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Tools and Techniques Used in Archaeology


Chapter 9 / Lesson 1

Archaeology is the study of humans and their history through the review of artifacts and other remains found in locations where humans once lived. Learn about the tools and three main techniques used in archaeology: reconnaissance, survey, and excavation.

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