Students Uncover Human Remains During Mercyhurst's Forensic Arch - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Students Uncover Human Remains During Mercyhurst's Forensic Archaeology Course

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Students from all over the country, and even Canada, are taking part in a week-long course at Mercyhurst University.
And on Thursday, they spent the afternoon digging up graves.

With mock outdoor crime scenes, students got some real hands-on experience in the recovery of human remains.

Dr. Dennis Dirkmaat has been directing this forensic archeology course for the past 22 years.

It's a 5-day course, part of the forensic anthropology program at Mercyhurst University.

The 20 students are from all over the country, even a couple police officers from Canada are also taking the course.

Thursday, there were 4 mock graves in the woods behind the university.

The students put to practice what they've learned so far in the course, getting a hands-on lesson on recovering human remains, while also collecting evidence at the scene.

"Having this experience is amazing," said Casey File, a student from Hamilton University. "It lets us really get down and dirty as you can see," File added.
"It's pretty good to know what it's like to actually work in the dirt, and see what it's like as if you were actually out there in the field doing the job," said student, Jackie Spiegel.

"It's the only course of its kind in the country... so hundreds of people have been trained to do this and hopefully they'll put it to practice," said Dr. Dennis Dirkmaat.

After the students recovered all the remains and evidence out in the field Thursday, they then headed back inside into the labs, where they will further examine that evidence.
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