Skip to page content

Investigating forensics

Investigating forensics


 Resources / Archaeology

Video duration: 01:37. Video Size: 17.404 MB. Downloadable version of this video is available here.
Warning: This video exceeds 6MB in size

Transcript: Preservation of Evidence

Dr. Barbara Winter: My interest in forensics has to do with the preservation of materials, rather than the definition of it, or how the police use it, or investigation or identification of individuals.  When anything has been buried in the ground, as an archeologist I know that excavating something out of the ground changes the environment that object is in.

Derek Congram: When we recover remains what we ideally want to do is maintain the condition the of the remains, so that someone further down the line who’s doing an analysis doesn’t see something different from what I saw.  And that includes things like just packaging them properly, so they don’t dry out or become too wet and maintaining that condition is very important because if they break while I’m handling them that makes the analysis of them more difficult.

Dr. Barbara Winter: Sometimes evidence seems to change where it’s gathered at the site … gathered at the scene and by the time it gets into … into a police lockup and a year later two years later it ends up in a courtroom the evidence can have physically changed and there’s reasons for that.  But the preservation of that is the preservation of the truth that we see at the scene so if we are gathering that material as evidence for a case we have to preserve it in a truthful manner.  We have to preserve it in a way that it remains consistent with what it was at the time so that we can draw the same conclusions from it at the beginning of the case the middle of the case and at the trial.

  • Preservation of Evidence
  • Role of the Forensic Archaeologist
  • Establishing the Post Mortem Interval
  • Archaeological Process
  • Importance of Observation