The New Role of Archaeology in Forensic Science

Author(s): Charles Boyd; Donna Boyd

Year: 2017


In 2015, the Physical Anthropology section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) officially became the "Anthropology" section of AAFS. This reflected not simply a name change, but an acknowledgement of the importance of archaeology to forensic anthropology and forensic science. This has heralded a new age of forensic anthropology based on increasing reliance on archaeological methods and theoretical principles. The interaction between forensic archaeology, anthropology, and forensic science is best exemplified in Virginia -since 1999, the authors have worked in conjunction with the Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, as well as local, regional, and state law enforcement entities, in over 170 forensic investigations. Many of these involved archaeological search and recovery of surface and buried remains. This work has resulted in successful adjudication of many of these cases. The authors have also trained federal and state law enforcement officers in proper forensic archaeological methods. This poster provides an overview of the contribution of archaeology to these cases, as well as an examination of the role of forensic archaeology within the Virginia Medical Examiner system. The opening of AAFS to archaeologists allows the broader application of relevant archaeological methods and principles to modern problems.

Cite this Record

The New Role of Archaeology in Forensic Science. Charles Boyd, Donna Boyd. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 428851)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -84.067; min lat: 36.031 ; max long: -72.026; max lat: 43.325 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15477