Laboratory of Human Osteology
Maxwell Museum of Anthropology
MSC01 1050
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131-0001
(505) 277-3535



As part of our agreement with the Office of the Medical Investigator (OMI), the Laboratory of Human Osteology retains the skeletonized remains of modern individuals of medicolegal interest. Some of these individuals have not been identified, are part of active investigations, or have legal actions pending. Many of these skeletons show evidence of sharp or blunt force trauma and/or gunshot wounds. These forensic examples are useful for teaching purposes, as well as for research. The laboratory has documentation of the initial examination of the body by biological anthropologists, as well as autopsy notes.

Recent research on the Forensic Collection has focused on animal scavenging of human remains, differential burning patterns, and the form of secondary fractures from gunshot wounds in the cranium. While access to the unsolved cases is restricted, researchers interested in using the Forensics Collection should submit a request following the Research Request Format for evaluation.

To maintain the chain of evidence, we require that all researchers sign in to the laboratory repository when examining the collection. Photography of individuals in the Forensics Collection is limited, and permission will be granted on a case-by-case basis.
Please indicate in your research request whether you will need to photograph the remains. Should you desire any further information, please feel free to contact the Laboratory of Human Osteology.