Volume 34, Issue 5 (September 1989)

    The Use of Radiocarbon (14C) to Identify Human Skeletal Materials of Forensic Science Interest

    (Received 9 August 1988; accepted 17 November 1988)

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    Abstract

    The radiocarbon (14C) method is a well-known isotopic dating technique by which age can be assigned to organic materials, including human bone. Natural and anthropogenic anomalies in 14C activity in the biosphere over the last few centuries, including the presence of artificial or “bomb” 14C after 1950, can be used as an isotopic tracer to assign human bone samples with high degrees of probability to one of three temporal periods within the recent past: a Non-modern period (before about A.D. 1650) of no forensic science interest, a Pre-modern period (A.D. 1650 to 1950) of possible or potential forensic science interest, and a Modern period (A.D. 1950 to the present) of definite forensic science interest. We illustrate the use of the 14C method to assign human bone in five forensic science cases to one of these time periods.


    Author Information:

    Myers Suchey, J
    Professor, California State University, Fullerton, CA

    Payen, LA
    Professor of anthropology and director, assistant research anthropologist, and staff research associate, University of California, Riverside, CA

    Slota, PJ
    Professor of anthropology and director, assistant research anthropologist, and staff research associate, University of California, Riverside, CA

    Taylor, RE
    Professor of anthropology and director, assistant research anthropologist, and staff research associate, University of California, Riverside, CA


    Stock #: JFS12753J

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS12753J

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    Title The Use of Radiocarbon (14C) to Identify Human Skeletal Materials of Forensic Science Interest
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30