Unearthing Clues at the Forensic Anthropology Field School
The Department of Anthropology's Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology Field School was recently featured in the Daily Hampshire Gazette. Students from across the country gather to attend this intensive six-week course, which focuses on the role biological anthropologists, archaeologists, and forensic scientists play in the excavation of human remains. Divided into three units, the course begins by introducing students to field laboratory techniques through lectures and lab exercises at UMass Amherst and UMass Chan Medical School. Next, students participate in the excavations of a pseudo-crime scene and pseudo-archaeological burial. Finally, participants use laboratory techniques to analyze their findings and write a lab report on the two excavation sites, followed by planning and building the site for next year's field school.
"We have a really high percentage of students getting into graduate school, either PhD, med school, or law," says Ventura Pérez, director of the field school. "One of the reasons is because we allow the students to write the reports. That's a skill set they don't normally get."
Visit the UMass Anthropology Field Schools website to learn more about the course and check for additional field school offerings in the future.