Sharing Features in Archaeological and Crime Scene Investigations: A Comparative Methodological Analysis of Human Remains at NguvuKazi in Mang ' ola, Northern Tanzania


  • Pastory Magayane Bushozi University of Dar es Salaam
  • Wilson Vicent Jilala Tanzania Police Force, Ministry of Home Affairs


This paper outlays preliminary archaeological investigation on human remains exhumed at Lake Eyasi basin in Mang ' ola, Arusha Tanzania. The study intended to underscore the complexities of burial practices in terms of burial styles, chronological sequences of burial cairns, human remains biological profile, pathology and morphological variations. The field excavation of burial graves was carried out at the NguvuKazi, almost three kilometers southeast of Mumba rock-shelter, on the foot of Laghangereri-Ishemjega hill. The graves were tightly clustered in an area of about 60 square meters. Each grave was covered over with sizeable angular stone slabs to the height of about 50 cm above the ground surface. Buried individuals were poorly preserved and highly fragmented from geomorphological processes and anthropogenic actions. The human remains were directly placed underneath of the stones. The graves were therefore not interred so much in the ground. Corpses were buried between 20 cm and 50 cm deep and covered with piled large gneiss slabs. Such burial practices caused severe postmortem trauma leading to the deterioration, fragmentation and crumbling of human remains. Poorly preservation conditions of collected human remains and lengthy duration from the date of burial to the date of the reburial posed severe challenges as long bones were highly fragmented. These accumulated results provide primary results that may contribute significantly to crime scene detective procedures.

Key words: Archaeological skills, Burial cairns, Crime scene, Investigation

Author Biographies

Pastory Magayane Bushozi, University of Dar es Salaam

Senior Lecturer, Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies

Wilson Vicent Jilala, Tanzania Police Force, Ministry of Home Affairs

Police Officer, Forensic Bureau