Forensic Archaeology Special Interest Group


The group was formed in April 2011, after discussions relating to the ethics and practicalities of working in forensic archaeology. The group promotes best practice in forensic archaeology work to ensure that appropriate standards and guidance for forensic archaeology are adopted, maintained and enforced.
In addition, the group advises CIfA Advisory Council on issues relating to forensic archaeology, disseminates information relating to forensic archaeology, and facilitates the exchange of information and ideas between practitioners and bodies both within the UK and internationally.

The group has developed the [Standard and Guidance document for forensic archaeologists]. The adoption of this Standard was approved by IfA Council in October 2011 and has since been endorsed by the Home Office Forensic Science Regulator.

FAEP: The expert panel

A unique feature of the Forensic Archaeology SIG, is the sub-group expert panel of forensic practitioners. FAEP comprises an expert panel of forensic practitioners. This sub-group has a closed membership, due to the nature of the work, and is only open to practising forensic archaeologists.

The aims of the expert panel are;

  • to implement mechanisms for accrediting and/or regulating the work of those acting or seeking to act as expert witnesses
  • to consider and discuss issues arising in the course of such work to liaise with Her Majesty’s Government, the Forensic Science Regulator and any other relevant bodes or individuals with regard to such issues

Membership of the Expert Panel is open to all practising forensic archaeologists who are members of CIfA at Member level (MCIfA) and who demonstrate competence against CIfA’s forensic archaeology competency matrix. You can find the application form and the competency matrix on the FAEP webpage.

Membership of the expert panel is recognised by the Home Office Forensic Science Regulator and a list of panel members is available from the FAEP webpage.

Join the Group

Membership of the Forensic Archaeology Special Interest (FASIG) Group is free for CIfA members. Non-members need to pay an annual £10 fee


Membership of the Forensic Archaeology Expert Panel (FAEP) requires you to complete an application form. You can find guidance for applicants, the relevant competency matrix and the application form on the FAEP webpage.

The Committee

Karl Harrison (Chair)

Alexandria Young (Secretary)

Caroline Sims

Laura Helen Evis

Alastair Vannan

Specialist competence matrix

We have recently introduced specialist competence matrices, which have been compiled by our CIfA special interest groups and are tailored to their specific areas. These are to assist applicants and the Validation committee to see where you demonstrate the grade applied for.

Forthcoming events

  • Forensic Archaeology will be holding their AGM on 17th July 2019 at the Canada Water Library in SE London, at 10:30-12:00. All are welcome.

  • elections to the executive committee will be held at the AGM for the following positions:
    · Treasurer (vacant since 2016)
    · 4 Ordinary committee members

Please complete and return the nomination form. Nominations are open to CIfA members who are also members of the Forensic Archaeology Special Interest Group. Nomination for the position of Treasurer is only open to accredited CIfA members,
Candidates wishing to stand for election should submit their completed nomination form to the secretary of the Forensic Archaeology Special Interest Group by email (youngaforensicarch [at] or by email to kerry.wiggins [at] or by post to CIfA, Power Steele Building, Wessex Hall, Whiteknights Road, Earley, Reading, RG6 6DE . Voting will be by show of hands of those present at the AGM or online if positions are contested.

Previous events

Estimating the Post-Mortem Interval: From Early Decomposition to Skeletonisation

Saturday 24th March 2018, 9.00 - 17.00.

University of Central Lancashire, Lancashire, UK, PR1 2HE; UCLan Foster Building

Cost: Free members, £5 for non-members (lunch included)



Morning: Presentations covering current trends in major areas of taphonomic practice: post-mortem interval (PMI) estimation, volatile organic compounds (VOC) estimation, actualistic whole-body modelling and taphonomic facilities, burial and post-mortem biomes, and osseous taphonomy. Followed by an open-round table discussion between academics, practitioners, end-users and regulators into standardisation of research and practice.

Afternoon: there will be a hands-on practical on PMI estimation in which attendees will be able to apply different methods to a single simulated case. This will comprise a short series of lectures on decomposition processes and chemistry, entomology and body scoring systems, and post-skeletonisation methods.

Dr. Patrick Randolph-Quinney, Reader in Biological Anthropology, University of Central Lancashire, is a biological anthropologist who focuses on forensic and palaeo-anthropology. His research focuses on human evolution, forensic human identification, forensic trauma analysis, and post-mortem processes (taphonomy), particularly the application of advanced biostatistics, 3D imaging methods and verifiable biomechanical approaches based on actualistic experimental modelling.

Download the flyer here

Forensic Archaeology AGM and Special Interest Group Event: Saturday 17 June 2017

The event will focus on the current state of forensic taphonomy research. We have 6 speakers who will discuss their work in forensic taphonomy and how it applies to forensic archaeology case work. There is also a planned visit to the UCLAN's Forensic Taphonomy Experimental Facility and a panel discussion session on the future potential of forensic taphonomy research and how we can build a more collaborative network for taphonomic research. Further details can be found on this Flyer

*Representatives of the Servicio Médico Legal of the Government of the Republic of Chile held an event entitled Disappeared but not forgotten: the Chilean experience regarding the search, recovery and identification of victims of human rights violations that occurred during Pinochet's Dictatorship (1973-1990). This was held in Bradford on Wednesday 14 September.
flyer for further details

AGM Minutes

2019 AGM minutes

2017 AGM minutes

2015 AGM minutes

2013 AGM minutes

2012 AGM minutes

2011 AGM minutes

Chartered Institute for Archaeologists
Power Steele Building, Wessex Hall
Whiteknights Road, Earley,
Reading RG6 6DE

0118 966 2841
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