Human Remains - what to do

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DaveP
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Mods - not sure if this is the correct place as it is a reminder. Came up during a discussion with my FLO.

In the unlikely event you discover what you think might be human remains the law requires you to Stop immediately and call the police. Absolutely no more excavation or searching should take place. The police will decide what happens next e.g. decide if they are human remains, inform the coroner, decide if they are modern or ancient, alert the correct groups etc. Also keep in mind there is a chance of destroying or moving valuable forensic evidence.
And it might be worth informing your landowner just in case you've dug up a someone ..... well you know ;)
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Littleboot
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I personally think it best to simply inform the Police and let them inform everyone they think fit. In the unlikely event that foul play is involved then the fewer people who are warned the better. including the landowner....because the owner of the land remains are found on in those circumstances would have questions to answer (Channelling the Detectorists here. :lol: ). in the event of it NOT being modern remains then it would also be best to keep the circle of knowledge as tight as legally required in order to prevent obvious problems with hawks.
Telling anyone outside an official capacity will result in rapid spread of the news and the obvious drawbacks that would have in the event of an investigation.
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HolzHammer
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Ha! I love that you have put this out there as a “reminder”! :thumbsup:
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DaveP
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HolzHammer wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:09 am Ha! I love that you have put this out there as a “reminder”! :thumbsup:
Just came up in conversation but you never know. It's not only digging. As we get to more remote places on farms anything could turn up - or, unfortunately and sadly, be found suspended in a woodland.

In my previous job I once got a phone call that went roughly like this:

Me: Hello, Chris X speaking.
Them: We've got the torso, both legs and an arm and we were wondering ..... (me thinking this is a very weird call and an even stranger opening line!)
Me: Excuse me - who is this?
Them: Oh sorry... DS 'name'.
Me: How did you get my name?
Them: Dr. 'name' suggested we contact you.
Me: Ah, that makes sense - now what's the problem.

Or another:

Them: "We've got most of the body but unfortunately it was part buried and the head has been hit by a plough so ID is a bit tricky" (you don't say!). "But we've got a good section of the scalp .... do you think you could ...?"

You never know what the day might bring ;)
Pete E
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I have never come across this myself, but I know two people who have while out deer stalking in Thetford forest..one was the long dead remains of a suicide by hanging. This was very sad case as the remains of the deceased had ended up lying on the floor of a dense thicket and would have been regularly passed with in several yards dozens and dozens of times over the years he'd been there...

The other case was a suicide victim found in a parked car within the forest...I mention these as it's not always buried stuff you can come across...
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Easylife
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I once detected a garden next to a cemetery, I guess that the cemetery may have once been larger judging by the very shallow chunks of old bone that showed? Really weird ground, spongy with cavities! A civil war skirmish also took place right there and the owner told me that workmen dug up a skull at her garden gateway that had a hole in it.
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Easylife wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:08 pm I once detected a garden next to a cemetery, I guess that the cemetery may have once been larger judging by the very shallow chunks of old bone that showed? Really weird ground, spongy with cavities! A civil war skirmish also took place right there and the owner told me that workmen dug up a skull at her garden gateway that had a hole in it.
In addition to somewhat vague cememtry boundaries, or even where the location has been lost, over the centuries, bones can also "travel" through the ground so that can sometimes be a factor as well...
Blackadder43
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Thanks for that info Davep :thumbsup:

On a moral level i personally would not detect near a known cemetary
If i was digging anywhere and bones turned up then i would certainly follow the advice that was passed to Davep from his FLO.
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shaggybfc
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I’m tempted to ask what job you used to have to be call when bodies have been found.......
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DaveP
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shaggybfc wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:46 pm I’m tempted to ask what job you used to have to be call when bodies have been found.......
A secret shared is not a secret anymore ;)
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Mucky
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Yes it's a tricky one.. I've found that as metal detector technology improves I've had to bury my corpses deeper!
Pain in the bum. (definitely joking)! :lol:
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Steve_JT
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Mucky wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:20 pm Yes it's a tricky one.. I've found that as metal detector technology improves I've had to bury my corpses deeper!
Pain in the bum. (definitely joking)! :lol:
and more importantly where do you bury corpses so they can't be found.........ever.........asking for a friend.....:lol:

Regards Steve
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Mucky
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TerraBritannia
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I did dig up a piece of bone back in June, while trying to find something metal. I was fairly sure that it was just animal bone? :Thinking:

bone.jpg
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Mucky
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TerraEnglandia wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:50 pm I did dig up a piece of bone back in June, while trying to find something metal. I was fairly sure that it was just animal bone? :Thinking:


bone.jpg
Definitely not human mate. Too short.. part of a dogs hind leg?
You won't have a bone like that in your body that's for sure. :thumbsup:
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