Taphonomic Facilities as Teaching Aids

Cross, Peter Andrew orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1812-5664 and Williams, Anna (2017) Taphonomic Facilities as Teaching Aids. In: Forensic Science Education and Training: A Toolkit for Lecturers and Practioner Trainers, 1. Wiley, pp. 45-55. ISBN Online ISBN: 9781118689196; Print ISBN: 9781118689233

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Official URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/book/10.1002/9...


The establishment of the human taphonomic facility helped drive the interest in human decomposition and boosted the term taphonomy into the forensic science arena. Discussions of human taphonomy began to appear in the forensic literature based upon observations made at the University of Tennessee facility. Forensic taphonomic research within the United Kingdom and Europe has focused on the use of animal models, notably the domestic pig, Sus scrofa. Whether human cadavers or animal models are used to study decomposition and factors that influence the process, the goals of modern forensic taphonomy research remain the same. Understanding soft tissue and bone decomposition and distribution discriminating post‐ from peri‐mortem modification, and more accurate post‐mortem interval estimation are the key foci. From a pedagogical perspective, taphonomy facilities are extremely valuable learning and teaching tools. In order to create a facility for taphonomy research and teaching at a university site, a suitable piece of land has to be acquired.

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