Forensic Anthropology Field School - Course Description

Forensic Anthropology Field School - Course Description

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Course Description

Annual Forensic Anthropology Field School

Albania, Greece, and Romania 

Dates: May 14 - June 6, 2019

This six-credit course provides students with practical experience in bioarchaeological fieldwork, the appropriate recovery and handling of human remains, paleopathology, and the methods of forensic anthropology. In addition to practical aspects of fieldwork and laboratory analysis, students will explore regional history and cultural traditions through field trips and museum visits.

In 2019 the field school will be taught primarily at Butrint National Park in southwestern Albania and Bucharest, together with visits to Tirana, Gjirokastra, and Corfu. The primary topical area this year is forensic anthropology and the analysis of human skeletal remains, with corollary discussions on paleopathology, forensic science, mass fatality and disaster planning, medical anthropology, heritage tourism, museum exhibits, and Balkan culture.

The fieldwork component of the course will run from May 14 to June 6, 2019. Class will meet 8:00 AM-4:30 PM each day, with breaks for lunch. Lectures and discussion typically occur in the morning, with laboratory exercises using actual human remains in the afternoon. Students will spend at least 80 hours in class over the three-week fieldwork component of the course, not including field trips to various archaeological sites and museums.

Students who participate in this field experience will learn the methods of forensic anthropology through the examination and analysis of human skeletal remains previously excavated at Butrint and other sites throughout Albania. We also will examine and document skeletal lesions indicative of disease, trauma, and taphonomy using these remains and the paleopathologic specimens housed at the Anthropological Institute in Bucharest.

As part of the course, students are required to visit and critically evaluate the Albanian National Museum of History; the Albanian Archaeological Museum; the Butrint Archaeological Museum; the Corfu Archaeological Museum; and the Museum of the Romanian Peasant and the Village Museum in Bucharest.


Outline of Course Topics

Days 1-3 (Tirana and Butrint)
Albanian archaeology and history
Balkan culture and society
Historic preservation and museum exhibits
Illyrian burial traditions
Survey of forensic sciences

Days 4-15 (Butrint, Saranda, and Gjirokastra)
Forensic archaeology
Police protocols
Chain of possession
Human osteology
Examination and analysis of human remains
Perimortem trauma
Postmortem mutilation
Forensic pathology and autopsy
Expert witnesses and courtroom testimony
Mass fatality incidents
Politics of archaeology
Heritage tourism
Archaeological site conservation
Graduate school preparation and applications
Careers in archaeology and forensic anthropology

Days 16-24 (Corfu, Athens, and Bucharest)
Greek archaeology and history
Romanian archaeology and history
Politics of archaeology
Heritage tourism

Prerequisite Courses:

ANT 101 or permission of the instructor

6 credits
12 weeks (on-site May 14 - June 6, 2019; final paper due August 15)

Required Texts:

Gloyer, Gillian
   2018 Albania: The Bradt Travel Guide, 6th Edition. Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, CT. ISBN #978-1784770785

White, Tim D., and Peter Arend Folkens
   2005   The Human Bone Manual. Academic Press, Orlando, FL. ISBN #0-12088467-4


Thomas A. Crist, Ph.D., Forensic Anthropologist
Harold T. Clark, Jr. Professor of Anthropology and Anatomy
Professor of Physical Therapy
Office: Romano Hall, Room 304
Telephone: (315) 792-3390 (o)

John H. Johnsen, Ph.D., Medical Anthropologist
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Emeritus

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Contact Us

Thomas Crist, Ph.D

Thomas Crist, Ph.D

Professor of Physical Therapy
(315) 792-3390

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