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Disaster Archaeology
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Unlike traditional archaeology, which studies the human past and examines issues of scholarly and popular interest, disaster archaeology is about the aftermath of mass-fatality events and deals with urgent needs such as victim identification and scene investigation. In this context, archaeological skills are an instrument of recovery for the families and others affected by a disaster.This methodology involves a humanitarian element that often motivates archaeologists to perform this emotionally difficult work, and it requires a commitment to scientifically controlled field recovery and documentation of human remains, personal effects, and other physical evidence. First-hand experiences are described from the World Trade Center, 'The Station' nightclub fire in Rhode Island, and from Hurricane Katrina.Disaster archaeology involves the meticulous, empirical use of archaeological science as well as emotional sensitivity toward victims and victims family and friends. By combining standards of forensic science with state-of-the-art field techniques, archaeologists can decisively affect the outcome of post-disaster investigations and recoveries."
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About the Author

Richard A. Gould is a professor of anthropology at Brown University and led full recoveries at 'The Station' nightclub fire scene in Rhode Island. He is the author of "Recovering the Past "and "Archaeology and the Social History of Ships." He is currently director of Forensic Archaeology Recovery (FAR), a volunteer team based in Rhode Island.

Reviews

"Gould has produced a work that not only acts as a primer on disaster archaeology and its many applications, but that also communicates his passion for the truth a passion with which all forensic professionals are familiar." "The Forensic Examiner"" "A terrific read...Gould, like a few others in our field, seems to prefer to tackle new problems rather than simply re-writing time and time again the same paper." Christy G. Turner IIisregents professor in the department of anthropology at Arizona State University" "Gould s ability as a storyteller shines through in chapters two through five and I have to say that I stopped taking any notes during his discussion of the World Trade Center and The Station fire as I was so transfixed by the story." James Skibo, author of "Ants for Breakfast "(University of Utah Press, 1999)" "Gould's ability as a storyteller shines through in chapters two through five and I have to say that I stopped taking any notes during his discussion of the World Trade Center and The Station fire as I was so transfixed by the story."--James Skibo, author of "Ants for Breakfast "(University of Utah Press, 1999)

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