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Course Catalog

Buried Bodies and Surface Skeletons: Recovery Techniques   

During this course you will become familiar with the background and procedures used in forensic archaeology. You will learn specific techniques to be used in the search, excavation and recovery of skeletonized human remains and associated evidence. The techniques employed to document the evidence found at the crime scene will be examined in detail.

Exercises involving the search and recovery of surface skeletons will provide you with hands-on experience as you employ the excavation techniques taught in class to locate and unearth mock graves.

Topics Include

  • Search techniques in locating clandestine graves and surface skeletons
  • Collection, packaging and transportation of skeletal material and physical evidence
  • Documentation through photography and sketching
  • Search, recovery and excavation of mock burials and surface skeletons through field exercises


Patrol officers, newly assigned and seasoned detectives, investigations supervisors, crime scene technicians, medical examiner and coroner investigators, prosecutors, and military investigative personnel

This course is restricted to active sworn and non-sworn law enforcement and medical examiner personnel.

Course Length

24 hours


This course is IAI Crime Scene Certification approved.

What to Bring


  • Work clothes for outside exercises, gloves, shoes or boots, and rain gear


  • Camera and equipment to document field exercises
  • Metal detector

What Our Students Are Saying

  • “This course is very ‘hands-on.’ I love the physical training it encompasses.” - T.N.
  • “Best course! Amazing instructor – very educated and informative.” - M.V.
  • “It was a wonderful learning experience! First time learning about the forensic archaeology process. Thank you!” - D.D.
  • “The course was well organized. All assignments were practical for real world experience.” - K.S.
  • “Class was so interesting! Excellent proportion of time dedicated to hands-on instruction.” - Anon.
  • “By far the best class I have taken. Learned a ton and enjoyed the very detailed practical exercise.” - C.L.
  • “Meredith was very knowledgeable and made the course fun. I loved being able to practice hands-on for future cases.” - K.K.
  • “Instruction was given at a level that was understandable and easy to follow. The course covered a wide range of situations and provided all the tools necessary to take provided skills into the field.” - E.M.
  • “One of the best course that I have ever taken! Everything was fantastic!” – Det. R.R.
  • "This course rocked! Thank you for sharing your expansive knowledge with us.” – C.S.O. S.G.


Schedule Changes

This schedule is subject to change without notice. If you have not received an official confirmation email prior to the first day of class, please contact us at (904) 620-4786 or before traveling or making airline reservations.

Registration and Fees

Full payment must accompany all registrations. You may register online and pay with your Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express credit card, or you may download a Registration Form and mail it to IPTM with a check.

Cancellation/Refund Policy

Complete the Cancellation Request Form and return it to IPTM. No telephone cancellations will be accepted. A 20% administrative fee will be assessed to all refunds if the cancellation request is received within 14 days of the course start date. In lieu of a refund, student substitutions can be made or a credit can be issued for a future course. No refunds will be given for no-shows. If materials for an online course were sent to the student, the appropriate materials and shipping costs will be deducted from the refund amount. Materials may be returned to IPTM in their original condition at the student's expense. Once IPTM has received and inspected them, the refund will be processed.

Due to the automated format of online independent study courses and Videos on Demand (VoDs), no refunds or substitutions can be made after registration.

Course Confirmations

A minimum number of registrations must be received for an in-person class to run as scheduled. When the minimum criterion has been met, written confirmation will be emailed to you. Please do not travel or make airline reservations until you receive written notification confirming that the course will run as scheduled.

Transportation and Lodging

Most locations are served by several major airlines. Transportation, food and lodging are the responsibility of the student. For information on training locations, please visit our Locations page or call us at (904) 620-4786. For courses in Jacksonville, the University of North Florida maintains a list of area hotels on the Campus Travel Management page.

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