Down on the Body Farm

Adjacent to The University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s Medical Center is an acre of land known as The Body Farm. The Body Farm belongs to university’s Forensic Anthropology Center and was established in 1981 by Dr. William Bass. Bass who had arrived ten years earlier to lead the Anthropology Department founded The Body Farm to study the postmortem changes that occur to a human body. Since its inception Bass’ brainchild has become an invaluable source for Forensic Scientists, Crime Scene Investigators and Law Enforcement. Bodies, usually numbering around fifty at a time, are placed in various locations around the site. Some rest in water while others are buried under poured concrete slabs. Some are placed in the trunks of cars while others are left exposed to the elements. Throughout the decomposition process the changes of each corpse are painstakingly documented by the researchers and added to the lexicon of forensic science.

Rod Werner is a Freelance Design Thinker based in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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