Forensic anthropology at Treblinka

Forensic¬† anthropologists provide expert testimony in courts of law from local to international jurisdictions. Physical, or biological, anthropologists – specialists in human anatomy – are employed in many cases having to do with crime scene investigations. For example, University of Toronto anthropologist Tracy Rogers led a team of excavators at the farm of serial killer Robert Pickton in British Columbia. Recently, archaeologists have been involved in forensic cases where their expertise at examining human artifacts has been used to decide what really happened at the infamous Treblinka Nazi concentration camp in Poland. The Daily Mail Online of the UK reports that a team of British archaeologists have debunked the Holocaust deniers’ version of the story. Genocide denial is at the centre of various political disputes between ethnic groups and governments. France, where it is illegal to deny the genocide of Jews during the second world war, recently passed a similar law prohibiting the denial of the genocide of Armenians in Turkey during and after the first world war. Turkey took diplomatic action in protest. Certainly there must be a greater role for cultural anthropologists in this area of applied anthropology.

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