Freeman Ranch

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Freeman Ranch is a 3,500-acre (1,400 ha) plot of land between San Marcos and Wimberley, Texas. It was founded in 1941 by weekend ranchers Harold M. "Harry" Freeman and his brother Joe.[1] Freeman Ranch houses 50 varying dead decaying bodies. These bodies are used to study the effects of the stages of body decomposition on the effect on the soil. [2]


Freeman Ranch is a working ranch which also serves as an educational model for ranch management and is devoted to various fields of research.[3] It is regularly used for educational outreach.


Researchers and students visit the ranch and participate in educational activities and projects. Researchers and students are allowed to conduct experiments and studies at the ranch, including forensic anthropology.[4]

Operation ID is an ongoing project at the ranch run by Professor Kate Spradley that has collaborated with groups such as the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, Baylor University, and the Colibrí Center for Human Rights in order to identify and return the remains of migrants who have died in the Texas wilderness from crossing the border.[2]


Since 2008, it has been the site of the 26-acre Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State.


  1. ^ "Freeman Brothers". Texas State Freeman Center. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Stromberg, Joseph (2014-10-28). "The science of human decay: Inside the world's largest body farm". Vox. Retrieved 2017-02-07.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Freeman Ranch: About Us". Texas State University. Retrieved 2009-11-27.

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Coordinates: 29°56′18″N 98°00′30″W / 29.93833°N 98.00833°W / 29.93833; -98.00833