Remains of the day

June 25, 2009

A team of forensic archaeologists, anthropologists and dentists get to work on an artificial mass grave at Holton Heath in Dorset, six weeks after the replica skeletons were buried.

The 21 sets of remains, which were made from moulds in China and "aged" using wood stain, form part of an exercise for budding forensic scientists designed by Ian Hanson, senior lecturer in forensic archaeology at Bournemouth University.

The bodies were buried in sandy soil dressed in clothes - including one, pictured, that was wearing stilettos - and left to deteriorate.

The exercise was designed to imitate work done by Mr Hanson, whose research interests include genocide, in the former Yugoslavia.

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