Journal Published Online: 01 January 1990
Volume 35, Issue 1

Time Since Death and Decomposition of the Human Body: Variables and Observations in Case and Experimental Field Studies



Much of the difficulty in determining the time since death stems from the lack of systematic observation and research on the decomposition rate of the human body. Continuing studies conducted at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, provide useful information on the impact of carrion insect activity, ambient temperature, rainfall, clothing, burial and depth, carnivores, bodily trauma, body weight, and the surface with which the body is in contact. This paper reports findings and observations accumulated during eight years of research and case studies that may clarify some of the questions concerning bodily decay.

Author Information

Mann, RW
National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Bass, WM
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
Meadows, L
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
Pages: 9
Price: $25.00
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Stock #: JFS12806J
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS12806J