Professionalism in Forensic Archaeology: Transitioning from “Cowboy of Science” to “Officer of the Court”
Forensic science is science applied to the law. To be effective forensic scientists, archaeologists need to learn what constitutes the elements of the crimes with which they might interact, how to create documentation for court, and how to qualify as, and be, an expert witness. They may also deal with many types of artifacts, or evidence, not normally found on an archaeological site. This chapter takes a forensic case example from the initial call to the archaeologist by the police to the courtroom and highlights the similarities and differences between anthropological archaeology and forensic archaeology. Forensic archaeology is a subdiscipline that requires not only a strong background in archaeological fieldwork but additional training in the forensic sciences.
KeywordsAnthropological archaeology Forensic archaeology Probative value SWGANTH Forensic science
- Bass, B., & Jefferson, J. (2003). Death’s acre: Inside the legendary forensic lab the body farm where the dead do tell tales. New York: Berkley.Google Scholar
- Centers for Disease Control. (2014). Prion diseases. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/prions/. Retrieved Jan 9, 2014.
- Connor, M. A. (2007). Forensic methods: Excavation for the archaeologist and investigator. New York: Altimira Press.Google Scholar
- Connor, M. A., & Scott, D. D. (2001). Archaeologists as forensic investigators: Defining the role. Historical Archaeology, 35(1), 1–6.Google Scholar
- Crist, T. J. (2001). Bad to the bone?: Historical archaeologists in the practice of forensic science. In M. Connor & D. D. Scott (Eds.), Archaeologists as forensic investigators: Defining the role. Historical Archaeology, 35(1), 39–56.Google Scholar
- Gardner, R. M. (2012). Practical crime scene processing and investigation (2nd ed.). Florida: CRC Press.Google Scholar
- Robinson, E. (2010). Crime scene photography (2nd ed.). Amsterdam: Elsevier Science & Technology Books.Google Scholar
- Saferstein, R. (2009). Forensic science: From the crime scene to the crime lab. New Jersey: Pearson.Google Scholar
- Stanford, C., John, S. A., & Anton, S. C. (2013). Biological anthropology (3rd ed.). New York: Pearson.Google Scholar
- Stocking, G. W. (1974). A Franz boas reader: The shaping of American anthropology, 1883–1911. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- SWGANTH. (2013). Scene detection and processing. http://swganth.startlogic.com/Scene%20Detection%20and%20Processing%20Rev%200.pdf. Accessed 07 Jan 2014.