The Use of GIS in Forensic Archaeology to Search Clandestine Graves in Uruguay

Authors

  • Matías López Batista Grupo de Investigación en Antropología Forense
  • Sofía Rodríguez López Grupo de Investigación en Antropología Forense
  • Annika Fieguth Batista Grupo de Investigación en Antropología Forense

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/aefs.18106

Keywords:

Forensic Archaeology, Geographical Information System, Spatial Analysis, Clandestine Burials

Abstract

In the context of the search of detainee disappeared from the dictatorship occurred in Uruguay, forensic archaeology uses GIS as an auxiliary tool which allows to create, edit, visualize, store, analyse and publish geospatial data and information related to the investigation process. The tools of GIS are described in this article to show the results and information obtained which are going to be useful in the analytic processes leading to the design of new search strategies and archaeological intervention according to the available resources for this context. Two case studies are presented with the purpose to show the use of QGIS as a result of the three main areas of work: preliminary, fieldwork and laboratory. QGIS is presented as one of the most versatile, dynamic and accessible tool to investigate the search of detainee disappeared in Uruguay.

Author Biographies

Matías López Batista, Grupo de Investigación en Antropología Forense

Matías López has a degree in Anthropological Sciences from Universidad de la República – Uruguay, since 2018. Within the degree program, he chooses the research option and specialized in Archeology. He is currently studying a master’s degree in Human Sciences. Develops a line of research in Forensic Archeology and works in the Investigation Group of Forensic Anthropology (GIAF) in Uruguay since 2011 and up to the present. The duties that he has been developing for ten years are mainly linked to the search for bone remains from the Detained-Disappeared, specializing in field archaeological work.

Sofía Rodríguez López, Grupo de Investigación en Antropología Forense

Sofía Rodríguez López has a degree in Anthropological Sciences from Universidad de la República, Uruguay. She chose the research option during the undergraduate studies and specialized in archaeology. Hence, she collaborated with bioarcheological and archaeological projects. From 2015 to 2020, she has been a member of the Forensic Investigation Anthropology Team (GIAF) linked to the search for human remains from the detained-disappeared from the civil-military dictatorship during 1973-1985. Sofia also worked as a volunteer member of the Biological Anthropology department at the Universidad de la República, collaborating in university courses and worked with bone collections. She has been part of the Latin American Association of Forensic Anthropology (ALAF) since 2015, participating in several activities like conferences and workshops. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in forensic Archaeology and Anthropology (MSc) at Cranfield University, Bedfordshire, UK. Her interests are in bioarchaeology, forensic anthropology and archaeology.

Annika Fieguth Batista, Grupo de Investigación en Antropología Forense

Annika Fieguth Batista has a degree in Anthropological Sciences (Biological Orientation) from Universidad de la República, Uruguay, since 2019. She is currently undertaking an MSc in Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology at Cranfield University, UK. Her research interest includes forensic anthropology and archaeology in Human Rights investigations. She was a member of the Uruguayan Forensic Investigation Anthropology Team (GIAF), essentially dedicated to searching for detainees who disappeared by the military-civil dictatorship (1773-1985). She was also an honorary collaborator at the Department of Biological Anthropology (Universidad de la República), working with bone collections and assisting in courses. Since 2015 she participates in conferences and workshops related to the field, being a member of the Latin American Association of Forensic Anthropology (ALAF) since 2017 and the British Association for Forensic Anthropology (BAFA) since 2020.

References

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Published

2021-05-23

How to Cite

López Batista, Matías, Sofía Rodríguez López, and Annika Fieguth Batista. 2021. “The Use of GIS in Forensic Archaeology to Search Clandestine Graves in Uruguay”. Archaeological and Environmental Forensic Science 2 (1):61–74. https://doi.org/10.1558/aefs.18106.

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Section

Articles