Professionalism in Forensic Archaeology: Transitioning from “Cowboy of Science” to “Officer of the Court”

  • Melissa A. ConnorEmail author


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.


Anthropological archaeology Forensic archaeology Probative value SWGANTH Forensic science 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Forensic Investigation Research StationColorado Mesa UniversityGrand JunctionUSA

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