About the FARC

Mission statement:

The Forensic Anthropology Research Centre will:

  1. produce research of international standard on all aspects regarding the recovery and study of human skeletal remains
  2. provide professional anthropological and archaeological services, and
  3. contribute to the education and training of the private and formal sectors, graduate students, and professionals in the fields of anthropology, archaeology and law enforcement


Aims of research projects:

  1. To develop new methods for skeletal identification in South Africans.
  2. To adapt existing methods of skeletal identification for South African populations and the South African situation.
  3. To apply new techniques, such as geometric morphometrics, to better understand human variation and sexual dimorphism.
  4. To assess the applicability of current standards used to determine population affinity, both morphological and metric, in a South African sample.
  5. To evaluate the similarity and differences of South African groups with North American and European populations using craniometry and traditional statistical tests.
  6. To enhance our capacity of histological assessment of (a) age and (b) pathology on bone.
  7. To study the changes in the human skeleton through time, as this would have an impact on our ability to identify skeletons (secular trends in the human body).
  8. To improve methods used for skull-photo superimposition, photo identification and facial reconstruction in children.
  9. To use the expertise so obtained in order to study skeletons from archaeological contexts in order to gain more information on past living conditions and lifestyles.
Published by Clarisa van der Merwe

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