Journal Published Online: 01 September 2002
Volume 47, Issue 5

Identifying Chop Marks on Cremated Bone: A Preliminary Study



The purpose of this analysis is to evaluate the effects of burning on hacking trauma inflicted with a cleaver and to assess the diag-nostic potential of cleaver marks exposed to fire. Thirty pig forelimbs (radius and ulna) and 30 beef ribs were each subjected to five blows with a cleaver and five cuts with a knife prior to burning in an outdoor fire. Bones were deliberately agitated to ensure maximum cremation and induce fragmentation. Results indicate that hacking weakens bone, making fire-induced fragmentation more likely at the sites of trauma. Chop marks were easily identified on burned bone, their characteristics largely unaffected by cremation.

Author Information

Gruchy, S
University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Rogers, TL
University of Toronto, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Pages: 4
Price: $25.00
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Stock #: JFS15506J
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS15506J