The involvement of archaeology in mass grave forensic investigations was a product of the violent conflicts of the twentieth century as well as an increased focus on contemporary material culture. An archaeologist’s skills are an essential component to the multidisciplinary forensic teams used for the recovery of contemporary mass graves because they provide a methodology essential for the systematic removal of strata, the establishment of spatial/temporal contexts and the interpretation of the material relationships. My thesis focuses on how archaeology’s involvement in post-conflict societies can serve as a tool of social action in the process of societal reconciliation through the exhumation and identification of victims of conflict. Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002) and Randall McGuire’s (2008) approaches to praxis, I examine the involvement of archaeology in the two post-conflict case studies of Spain and the former Yugoslavia. I use literature and case reports detailing the exhumation methods and identification strategies used to demonstrate the role of archaeology in these two regions.


Navarro-Farr, Olivia




Archaeological Anthropology | History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology


archaeology, forensics, Spain, former Yugoslavia, social action, reconciliation

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2014 Allison C. Ham