Volume 44, Issue 5 (September 1999)

    Marine Taphonomy: Adipocere Formation in a Series of Bodies Recovered from a Single Shipwreck

    (Received 13 October 1998; accepted 18 January 1999)

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    Abstract

    Taphonomy of marine environments has been studied mostly from individual cases. The formation of adipocere, or “grave-wax,” is an important indicator of the postmortem interval.

    In the present paper, the conditions and the timing of adipoceric formation are observed in a series of 15 cadavers recovered at different times, over a period of 433 days, from the same contained environment. Initial foci of adipocere on the subcutaneous tissue of the cadavers were detected as early as 38 days from the time of immersion in cold (10–12°C) sea water. The discrepancies between our findings and previous reports on the correlation between time since death and decomposition stages in marine environments are discussed.


    Author Information:

    Shmeltzer, E
    Division of Identification and Forensic Science (DIFS), Israel Police, Head Quarters, Tel-Aviv Jerusalem,

    Almog, J
    Division of Identification and Forensic Science (DIFS), Israel Police, Head Quarters, Tel-Aviv Jerusalem,

    Hiss, J
    The L. Greenberg Institute of Forensic Medicine, Tel-Aviv,

    Levy, J
    Division of Identification and Forensic Science (DIFS), Israel Police, Head Quarters, Tel-Aviv Jerusalem,

    Kahana, T
    Division of Identification and Forensic Science (DIFS), Israel Police, Head Quarters, Tel-Aviv Jerusalem,

    Spier, Y
    Oceana Marine Research Company, Petach Tikva,


    Stock #: JFS12012J

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS12012J

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    Author
    Title Marine Taphonomy: Adipocere Formation in a Series of Bodies Recovered from a Single Shipwreck
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30