Artifacts of Decomposition Laboratory

GMS6352L

In-Person Elective Course in Gainesville, Florida
Credits: 3
Instructor: Dr. Lerah Sutton


This in-person, interactive elective course has been designed to give students a hands-on approach regarding the basic concepts of human decomposition and the estimation of post mortem interval. Students will become familiar with the multidisciplinary nature of death investigations through practical exercises that will further develop their ability to recognize and understand artifacts of decomposition including scattered skeletal remains recovery and clandestine grave detection and excavation.

Course Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Properly identify and secure a crime scene involving decomposed remains
  • Detect surface remains and clandestine graves
  • Perform tasks related to physical evidence identification and recovery
  • Process a grave site by using the grid/baseline methods and evidence mapping
  • Properly sift to look for items of evidence and small bones
  • Locate, map, and measure skeletal remains
  • Systematically map and excavate clandestine graves

Download a tentative agenda (subject to change): Syllabus

Note: immunization documents are required

Interested in this subject, but can’t come to Gainesville? Take Artifacts of Decomposition 100% online!