Forensic Anthropology Field School at UTM (ANT306H5F)

January 7, 2022 update: The UTM Department of Anthropology plans to offer ANT306H5F Forensic Anthropology Field School course in the "F" Fall 2022 term, however please check this page for updates that should be posted by early March 2022.


View the course description in the UTM Academic Calendar.

The Forensic Anthropology Field School course (ANT306H5F) is an introduction to the field of forensic anthropological field techniques and scene interpretation.

Topics covered include:

  • crime scene protocols and record keeping;
  • establishing perimeters;
  • establishing a datum;
  • searching for human remains and clandestine burials;
  • mapping small scenes;
  • mapping large scenes (high and low tech);
  • establishing a grid;
  • excavation techniques;
  • stratification, soils, tool marks, and other evidence from the grave;
  • casting soil imprints;
  • taphonomy and taphonomic inference;
  • photography;
  • collecting evidence;
  • maintaining the chain of evidence;
  • scene interpretation part 1- reconstructing activity relating to the death and/or deposition of the victim;
  • scene interpretation part 2 - reconstructing post-depositional events.


The August field school and the Fall term lab sessions take place on the UTM campus.

Dates and course delivery timeline for 2021:

Students must be available for both the fieldwork and the laboratory classes in the Fall term. Participation in fieldwork is a required part of the course. This course is typically offered every other year.

March 2, 2021 update:

The fieldwork components of ANT306H5F will be completed primarily during two weeks: 

  • Tuesday, August 3rd - Friday, August 13th, 2021
  • Students are REQUIRED to be present from 9am-5pm on the specified fieldwork dates.

The rest of the course will be held during the fall term (day, time and location will be posted once the timetable is available).

The course instructor will contact you via email with the details of the fieldwork including dress code and other requirements.

Fees and supplies to be purchased

  • March 2, 2021 update: Tools and personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided.
  • Students are only charged Fall Registration for the course; there are no summer tuition charges.
  • The non-refundable ancillary fee of $35.00 CAD for all students who enroll in UTM Anthropology field school courses in 2021 may apply. The ancillary fee covers the cost of minor field school supplies. All excavation equipment will be supplied.
  • There is some personal equipment that you will need in order to participate (more details on these items will be provided to students enrolled in the course):
    • Long pants and long-sleeve shirts
    • Hat
    • Hiking shoes or boots
    • Gloves
    • Safety glasses
    • Sunscreen
    • Insect repellant
    • A light rain poncho, or rain jacket and pants
    • Water: You must bring at least one water bottle with you every day.
    • Pens/Pencils
    • Trowel (optional)

Eligibility and prerequisites

  • Prerequisite: ANT205H5
  • Students must have the approval of the UTM Anthropology Department before being enrolled in the course on ROSI/ACORN. Approval will be based on number of credits completed, area of concentration, academic standing, course background and/or previous courses.
  • This field school course is only open to University of Toronto students. First priority will be given to UTM students. Enrolment is limited.

Application and enrolment process for 2021

  1. Request departmental approval to enrol in the course by submitting the online Field School Application Form by April 9, 2021 at 9am. Applications are normally accepted during the winter term (check this page for application deadlines for future offerings).
  2. Check your email account for the results of your application (emails are usually sent towards the end of April, however there may be delays in 2021 due to COVID-19). If you receive departmental approval to enrol in this course, you must complete the steps below in order to complete your enrolment.
  3. After you confirm that you wish to enrol in the course (via email), the department will enrol you in the course via ROSI/ACORN (when enrolment is open)


If you have any questions please contact the Departmental Assistant at