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The Scientific Investigation of Mass Graves
Towards Protocols and Standard Operating Procedures

  • Date Published: January 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107670938

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About the Authors
  • This book describes the detailed processes and techniques essential for the scientific investigation of atrocity crimes. It includes methods for the location, evaluation, excavation, recovery, and recording of mass graves and the analysis of human remains and other evidence in order to establish the identity of victims and the cause and manner of their deaths. This volume establishes protocols and standard operating procedures to guide standards and approaches that can be used for both judicial and humanitarian contexts. The procedures for field and mortuary application are flexible and can meet specific project aims, constraints, and contexts. The phases of activity and detailed methodological approaches set out in this book describe components of a complex scientific process. Chapters examine the evaluation of possible sites, scene of crime management, health and safety, key roles, excavation of graves, forensic sciences, mortuary management, analysis of human remains, and ante-mortem data collection.

    • First book describing the excavation and analysis of mass graves and the victims within
    • Describes setting up and managing temporary mortuaries
    • Establishes protocols and standard operating procedures to guide standards and approaches
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Cox and colleagues have produced a volume that will undoubtedly be a useful tool and teaching aid.' Journal of Archaeological Science

    'I expect to see this book used widely as a reference by anthropologists, archaeologists and other forensic practitioners in a variety of situations that call for investigators to establish the physical facts of a criminal activity or a disaster event in a credible and convincing manner.' Anthropological Science

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107670938
    • length: 594 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 178 x 30 mm
    • weight: 1.02kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction and context
    2. Protocols for the investigation of mass graves
    3. Health and safety
    4. Scenes of crime examination
    5. Search, location, excavation, and recovery
    6. Mortuary procedures I - pathology, radiography and the role of the anatomical pathology technologist
    7. Mortuary procedures II - skeletal analysis 1: procedures and demographic assessment
    8. Mortuary procedures III - skeletal analysis 2: techniques for determining identification
    9. Forensic sciences
    10. Ante-mortem data collection: interaction with families and communities.

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    The Scientific Investigation of Mass Graves

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  • Editors

    Margaret Cox, University of Southampton

    Ambika Flavel, Inforce Foundation, Bournemouth

    Ian Hanson, Bournemouth University

    Joanna Laver, Dorset Police Service

    Roland Wessling, Inforce Foundation, Bournemouth

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