Department of Anthropology News

Gizmodo: The Science Behind Dogs That Detect Dead Bodies

Gizmodo recently highlighted two studies conducted at UT’s Forensic Anthropology Center–also known as the Body Farm–that discuss the chemical vapors and compounds produced by the body during decomposition. Read the story here.

Jan Simek’s Work with Ancient Cave Art Makes Great Discoveries List


The Weather Channel’s website has a roundup called Hidden America: Amazing Discoveries in Every State that includes a photograph of ancient cave drawings and mentions Jan Simek’s exploration of Tennessee’s caves in the state’s listing, No. 42 of the slides.

Linking GEOINT and Archaeology

The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation’s Trajectory magazine featured Katie Corcoran, a doctoral student in anthropology. Corcoran is a 2014 USGIF scholarship recipient. The funding supports her project that aims to develop a model for the detection of human burials resulting from international war crimes and conflicts. To read the story, Trajectory‘s website.

Professor Awarded for Prehistoric Rock Art Research


Jan Simek has spent decades trekking for miles in complete darkness, contorting his body to fit around rocks, and navigating down muddy and stony slopes. The UT anthropology professor’s work has paid off in the form of big discoveries—and now a big award.

Scientists: Mysterious Kennewick Man Looked Polynesian and Came From Far Away


Richard Jantz, emeritus professor of anthropology, was quoted in an article in The Washington Post about the the mysterious Kennewick Man, who died 9,000 years ago in the Columbia River Valley. “He could have been an Asian,” said  Jantz. “One of the things we always tend to do is underestimate the mobility of early people.”

WBIR: UT “Body Farm” founder critical of MH17 victim recovery


WBIR-TV interviewed Bill Bass, founder of the Forensic Anthropology Center at UT, about the recovery and identification of the remains of the victims of crashed Malaysia Flight 17. Bass said time is working against the forensic experts. For more, visit WBIR-TV’s website.

UT Florida Everglades Research to Help Climate Change Mitigation

The Florida Everglades are a region of tropical wetlands, and home to many rare and endangered plants and a 15,000-year human history. Unfortunately, these species and artifacts are at risk of extinction and erosion due to changing water levels caused by climate change and industrialization. Archaeologists from UT’s Archaeological Research Laboratory are investigating the effect changes in the Everglades’ water levels have had on people, plants, and archaeological and ecological resources in the past and present in order to predict the future.

Archaeological Institute of America Lecture Series Begins January 16

The East Tennessee Society of the Archaeological Institute of America and UT’s McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture will continue their annual lecture series Thursday, January 16. The first lecture will feature UT professor Dawnie Steadman, a skeletal biologist who specializes in forensic anthropology, bioarchaeology, and human rights investigations. Steadman will talk about the research on mass grave exhumations being conducted by UT’s Forensic Anthropology Center.