Beyond Borders

Archaeology trip to Texas for cemetery excavation project

A University of Indianapolis research team has continued the painstaking work to identify the remains of dozens of migrants who perished during the rough trek into the United States. Since 2013, Dr. Krista Latham, an associate professor of biology and anthropology, has led a team of University volunteers and students to Texas with hopes of identifying the remains of people who were buried in unmarked plots.

The dead are migrants from Latin America discovered by landowners along the border between Mexico and the United States.

“This is not only a scientific mission, but there also is a moral obligation to this work,” Latham said. “This has turned into a human rights mission.”

Latham and a team of students went on the trip with the intent to remove the remains of seven people. Instead, the UIndy group and a team from Texas State University found 24.

“I have had the honor of working on this project since the beginning. Over time, it has become very personal to me. I have invested my blood, sweat and tears into this work,” said Human Biology student Justin Ross Maiers. 

FURTHER EXPLORE: UIndy students are blogging about their hands-on experiences in Texas at