Body Farm

From Academic Kids

The Body Farm, or the University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Facility, is located a few miles south of Knoxville, Tennessee, near the University's medical center, and is used for the study of human decomposition that occurs after death. The facility was founded by anthropologist Dr. William M. Bass, after he found that there were no such facilities existing that specifically studies decomposition.

It consists of a three acre (12,140 ) wooded plot, surrounded by a razor wire fence. A number of bodies, originating from various sources, are scattered throughout the area. Some of the cadavers have laid unclaimed at the medical examiner's office, while over 300 people have voluntarily donated their bodies to the Body Farm. The bodies are exposed in a number of ways in order to provide insights into decomposition under varying conditions: some are left out in the open, some get buried in shallow graves or entombed in vaults, while some are even left in cars.

Various forensic disciplines benefit from the studies done through the Body Farm, among which law enforcement, medical examiners and crime scene investigation. The research mainly assists examiners to develop a better idea of what the actual time of death was. The FBI holds training courses at the Body Farm, in order to expose agents to crime scene simulations where they have to dig up bodies.

Literature

The Body Farm was the inspiration for a Patricia Cornwell novel of the same name (ISBN 0425147622), and is the also subject of the nonfiction Death's Acre by Jon Jefferson and Dr. William Bass (ISBN 0399151346).

External links

nl:Body Farm

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