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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.
  • “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.


Currently, there are no open enrollment classes scheduled for this course.  Click here to continue searching for other courses.