Today, forensic archaeology is considered a well-established
and reliable sub-discipline of Physical Anthropology, and can be defined as the
application of archaeological techniques and principles relating to the search,
recovery and excavation of human and faunal remains, buried evidence and even
missing persons; that aids forensic or medico-legal investigations. (Ma?rquez-Grant
and Roberts, 2012)

During the early years of the
twentieth century, anthropology and its surrounding sub-disciplines were pioneered
in the USA but struggled to gain acknowledgement as a valid and reliable
science initially. (Stewart, T. D, 1979). Earnest
Hooten established the field of physical anthropology and became the first anthropologists
to hold a full-time position in the USA. (Shapiro, H. L, 1954) Additionally, another prominent early anthropologist, Thomas
Wingate Todd, was primarily responsible for the creation of the first large
collection of human skeletons in 1912 and his contributions to the field of
anthropology remain in use to this day. These early pioneers formalised the
field of anthropology, but it was not until the 1940s, with the help of Todd’s
student, Wilton M. Krogman, that forensic anthropology gained recognition as a
legitimate subdiscipline. Krogman was the first anthropologist to actively
publicize anthropologists’ potential forensic value, going as far as placing
advertisements in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin informing agencies of the ability
of anthropologists to assist in the identification of skeletal remains. During
the 1950s, the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps employed forensic anthropologists
in the identification of war casualties during the Korean War.  It was at this time that forensic anthropology
officially began in the US. REWORD. Additionally, In the United Kingdom, Margaret
Cox one of an early group of forensic archaeologists to both undertake casework
in a criminal context and reflect on work in writing. Cox’s historical of
approach to the development of forensic anthropology and archaeology is also
apparent in the way in which she combined the practice of international mass
atrocity exhumations with the identification, search and location and
excavation of clandestine single inhumations more commonly associated with
domestic major crime investigation – a theme that could be argued to be a
direct reflection of the development period of these disciplines. (Blau
and Ubelaker, 2016)

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While the lack of definitive recognition of these
disciplines in some countries has resulted in limited use and growth of
forensic anthropologists and archaeologists in a domestic context. Nevertheless,
other countries have pursued to bring the subject areas into the contemporary
mainstream through the increased, accreditation of experts and practitioners, academic
respectability, expansion of organised university and educational courses, and improved
support for detailed reporting and research. Subsequently, after the wide use
of forensic anthropologists and archaeologists in the mid-1990s in post
conflict sites, the role of the disciplines in global contexts (for instance,
in international criminal tribunals or acts of terrorism) in locating,
recovering, recording, and analyse of physical evidence to prosecute major
human rights violations relating to mass executions, is now very well
established.