The Body Farm: Birthplace of Modern Forensics
Anthropology Research Facility at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville
"The Body Farm", as the Anthropology Research Facility at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is more commonly referred to, was established in 1980 by Dr. William Bass as a research facility for forensic anthropology. Modern forensics ~ and the current TV shows about crime labs such as Forensics Files, CSI, NCIS, and Bones ~ all have their foundations in the research done at The Body Farm.
What Exactly Is A "Body Farm"?
The Body Farm (Anthropology Research Facility of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville) is an outdoor facility used for researching the decomposition of human remains in varying environmental conditions. It provides crucial information to law enforcement investigating murders and provides a real life instruction to Forensics Anthropology students and researchers.
In other words, they stick a lot of dead bodies out in the woods and see what happens to them.
What Is Forensic Anthropology?
Forensic Anthropology is the science of physical anthropology and human osteology used to identify human remains and their manner of death, usually as part of a criminal investigation.
How Does The Body Farm Contribute To Science & Criminal Justice?
The Anthropology Research Facility in Knoxville, Tennessee, collects data about the decomposition of human remains in varying environmental situations. This information allows law enforcement to make informed judgements about the time and manner of a victim's death. The information gleaned from research at The Body Farm contributes greatly to the successful incarceration of murderers and is also used to prove innocence in wrongfully accused people.
- The Forensic Anthropology Data Bank
"The Forensic Anthropology Data Bank (FDB) was started in 1986 with a grant from the National Institute of Justice. The FDB contains extensive demographic information for many cases, including place of birth, medical history, occupation, stature, and
So You Want To Donate Your Body To The Body Farm...
"There is no cost to you or your family for the donation of your body to the Department of Anthropology if you are in Tennessee and within 200 miles of Knoxville."
- Body Donation Program
Be a part of forensics research, contribute even after you die, and have a much better view than the inside of a casket.
- Forensic Anthropology Donation Program Policy
Download the PDF regarding body farm donation policies.
- Tour The Body Farm
WARNING Graphic images of dead bodies in situ in the Anthropology Research Facility.
Why Is It Called "The Body Farm" Anyway?
Well, calling it The Body Farm is a lot more fun than trying to get out "Anthropology Research Facility". Although I've read on the web that the nickname was given to it by Patricia Cornwell when she wrote her book of the same name, I tend to believe those that say it was the Knoxville Police who first gave it the nickname.
In any case, "The Body Farm" is what it's always been called by Knoxville residents.
The Body Farm - A Kay Scarpetta Mystery
"The Body Farm", which heavily features the real Anthropology Research Facility in Knoxville, is the fifth Kay Scarpetta Mysteries novel by New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell.
A mystery/thriller by Patricia Cornwell that has been likened to "Silence of The Lambs".
Where Can I Read More About The Body Farm?
- Forensic Anthropology Center
The homepage for the Forensic Anthropology Center at The University of Tennessee Knoxville, aka "The Body Farm".
- The Body Farm: Tennessee Anthropology Research Facility
Excerpt of Time of Death by Katherine Ramsland.
Death's Acre - Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab the Body Farm Where the Dead Do Tell Tales
A memoir of Dr. William Bass, The Body Farm, and his career before and after the founding of The Body Farm. Graphic details and photos. Written by William Bass & Jon Jefferson.
Death's Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab the Body Farm Where the Dead Do Tell Tales (Paperback)
by William Bass, Jon Jefferson
Death's Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab the Body Farm Where the Dead Do Tell Tales (Hardback)
by William Bass, Jon Jefferson
Body Farm Books
"(At the time) there was nothing much in the literature, so I asked the dean if I could have a small piece of land to put bodies on. That was the beginning of what has been 29 years of trying to figure out what happens to people. I think all we've done is scratch the surface.”
Dr. William M. Bass
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