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General Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I visit the Anthropological Research Facility (Body Farm)?

We do not offer tours to our research facility. If we honored all requests for tours, we would be unable to conduct any research. Also, having too many visitors would compromise the research we do conduct.

What is Forensic Anthropology?

Forensic Anthropology is the recovery and examination of human skeletal remains for the medical-legal community. This can include excavation, the creation of a biological profile, or trauma analysis, but does not include trace evidence recovery, DNA testing, Ballistic analysis, or autopsies. For more information see

How can I donate my body to your program?

Please see the tab “Body Donation” for information, directions and forms on how to donate. All other inquiries can be directed towards

Are there job openings at the Anthropological Research Facility?

Most of our positions are for University of Tennessee graduate students in anthropology. Please check the university’s human resource page for any other positions available.

I would like to conduct research at your facility. How do I go about getting permission to do so?

Please contact Dawnie Steadman at for any research requests.

What is the difference between the FAC Body Donation Program and a medical school donation program?

We use the body/remains for research and teaching. We do not return the remains to the family after a period of time. We do not embalm the body.

Medical schools typically embalm a body for teaching anatomy to medical students. After use, the body may be cremated, and at the request of the family the remains are returned.

I like the idea of donating my body, but cannot decide what I want to do. Can I make a monetary donation?

Yes, we gladly accept financial donations and they are a tremendous help to our program. If you wish to do this, please contact us so that we may direct any of these donations into the FAC.

How much longer will you be accepting body donations?

We do not anticipate a time where we will not be accepting body donations.

Do you provide any payment to my family when I donate my body? Do I get paid for donating my body?

We do not provide any payment to you or the family.

I am trying to make arrangements for a family member to donate to your program?

If you are a representative to the family (POA, next-of-kin, or funeral home) you will need to contact the Anthropology Department directly in order to make arrangements for a donation (865-974-4408). There are separate forms for donation of deceased individuals.

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