Researchers are deploying corpses to improve mass grave detection.
Scientists are working on a system for finding mass gravesites, even years after the bodies have decomposed.
Researchers from the University of Tennessee’s Forensic Anthropology Center set up new gravesites to study if any changes to the landscape could be seen from the sky, in the ground, and in different light spectrums.
By documenting the specific changes that happen over time, they hope to use that information to find clandestine gravesites though distant observational techniques.
Stefan Schmitt, from Physicians for Human Rights said: “Remote sensing has always been a really big interest... But the problem is that it’s not definitive…”
One method that is used to find gravesites is “hyperspectral imaging”, which detects chemical changes in the vegetation by analyzing their reflected light wavelengths. These indicate changes in the soil underneath from decomposing bodies.
Using the new technology has potential to find undiscovered gravesites and opens up the possibility of finding the remains of people that are the victims of genocide or that have been missing for many years.