Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute

Forensic Anthropology Processing Lab

The Forensic Anthropology Processing Laboratory (aka Wet Lab) is a secure, autopsy-style suite that is used for educational and professional purposes. With the completion of the Hirtzel Forensic Anthropology Laboratory at the Mercyhurst-North East Campus, the Wet Lab on Main Campus is primarily utilized for processing specimens for the zooarchaeology collection housed in the Comparative Osteological Collection Laboratory. Vertebrate faunal remains are documented and then macerated (soft tissue removed) in this laboratory, for which undergraduate students and work studies receive the most experience. Additionally, a variety of undergraduate thesis projects have also utilized this laboratory, with assistance from and/or in collaboration with graduate students and faculty.

Casting of forensic case material is also completed in this lab. The varieties of casting materials include Forensic Sil, Aquasil, Alumilite, Dragon Skin, and an array of Smooth On products. Cast exemplars for teaching and casework purposes are also stored in this secure facility. Because of the sensitive nature of materials processed in the Wet Lab, this room is locked at all times and a daily activities log is maintained.

Forensic case and human remains processing is conducted at the Hirtzel Forensic Anthropology Laboratory at the JLM Center at the Mercyhurst-North East Campus, approximately 15 miles away.

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