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Human Remains Recovery FSCT 8110

Forensic Investigation Course

Course details

This course demonstrates principles of forensic archaeology and methodical scene examination, showing how these principles are used in the search, excavation and recovery of human remains. The theories and methodologies employed are explored during lectures as well as during the field component. During the field component of the course (3x 8 hour days), teams will learn to process a scene from start to finish, including: initial scene assessment, surface scatter search, mapping, measuring, recording, gridding, screening, excavation and recovery of the remains. The course will conclude with a de-briefing session.


  • Admission to a Forensic credential program or permission of the Program Coordinator.



Not offered this term
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Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively work and perform in a team environment.
  • Describe environmental and taphonomic factors which influence the decomposition sequence that occurs in human remains and how each of these factors can influence the estimation of the elapsed time of death and the subsequent discovery of the remains.
  • Conduct a formal and methodological search for scattered surface human remains at a site.
  • Map, record and grid a scene with human remains.
  • Explain the process and describe the methodology used in excavating a forensic shallow grave/burial.
  • Describe several surface features which may be indicative of the presence of a forensic burial.


  • Introduction
  • Human Osteology
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Search techniques
  • Excavation techniques
  • Processing of a scene with human remains/ recovering scattered remains and buried remains.

Effective as of Fall 2012

Related Programs

Human Remains Recovery (FSCT 8110) is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Computing and Academic Studies

  1. Forensic Investigation (Forensic Science Option)
    Advanced Certificate Part-time
  2. Forensic Investigation (Forensic Science Option)
    Bachelor of Technology Part-time


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