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Landscapes of conflict

Melissa Connor, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


What information is it realistic to expect a forensic investigation to provide relevant to the investigation of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide? This dissertation examines forensic evidence, archaeological material, and geographic regions and landscapes that courts have used to determine whether a crime was committed, to define the crime committed, and to prosecute the person responsible. It also proposes a descriptive synthetic model based on archaeological battlefield patterns and the geographic concept of landscapes to use in the investigation of physical evidence in international crimes. ^ Three case examples are used, one for each major type of systemic crime: (1) the Katyn Forest in Poland as an example of war crimes; (2) the 1994 killings in Rwanda as an example of genocide; and (3) the killings in the Srebrenica area of Bosnia and Herzegovina as an example of crimes against humanity. Both the physical evidence gathered for the trials are scrutinized, as well as the court cases themselves. The dissertation examines the role of the physical evidence in determining whether a crime was committed, what crime was committed, and who committed the crime. This dissertation accomplishes three goals: (1) identifying the type of evidence most commonly useful in the investigation of international crimes and the elements of these crime, (2) outlining a descriptive model for investigators to follow when examining systemic crimes, and (3) outlining areas for new research involving regional geographic approaches to the aspects of crime that are widespread and systematic. ^

Subject Area

Anthropology, Archaeology|Geography|Political Science, International Law and Relations

Recommended Citation

Connor, Melissa, "Landscapes of conflict" (2005). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3201762.