In Situ finding

An in situ finding is the morphological-osteological evaluation of a skeleton in an earth grave. The in situ finding means an anthropological record, which can be collected during the analysis of the skeleton in the earth grave and during its recovery. Normally, an in situ finding can provide initial information on the age and sex of the individual, as well as the degree of preservation of the skeletons.  However, these must always be considered preliminary because they are collected on unwashed and unrestored remains. In particular, not all pathological changes or features on the skeleton will be detected.

The SAM, in its Guide to Osteological Work on Excavations, specifies data sets, that should be collected on human skeletal material during its excavation. This “In Situ Findings” primarily includes initial assessments of the individual such as age and sex, as well as information on the state of preservation of the skeleton. The data set does not cover all possible analyses that can be carried out in the grave, but concentrates on the one hand on those that allow an initial assessment of the find and on the other hand on those that could no longer be obtained after the grave has been dissolved. Depending on the circumstances of the find, it may be necessary to expand the data to be collected.