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  • http://hdl.handle.net/10402/era.27358
  • Environmental factors affecting an experimental low-density mass grave near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Nagy, Michael A
  • English
  • forensic anthropology
    taphonomy
    mass grave
    decomposition
    burial
    disturbance
    temperature
    environment
    human rights
  • Apr 28, 2010 2:59 PM
  • Thesis
  • English
  • Adobe PDF
  • 5106886 bytes
  • The investigation of mass graves involves aspects of high political, judicial, and emotional impact. Understanding how bodies held within mass graves change between the time they are deposited and the time they are discovered (the realm of forensic taphonomy) is vital for competent collection of evidence and accurate evaluation of the scene. This thesis explores these issues by detailing experimental research undertaken to better understand the affects of environmental factors on low-density, orderly placement mass graves. Issues pertaining to how decomposition of bodies in contact differs from that of single bodies, intentional disturbance, and temperature change were examined experimentally using pigs as human analogues over a period of almost one year outside of Edmonton, Canada. There are three primary avenues in which the information obtained can be applied to the real world: estimation of elapsed time since death, planning mass grave investigations and reducing evidence loss, and evaluating post-burial disturbance or intentional vandalism.
  • Master's
  • Master of Arts
  • Department of Anthropology
  • Fall 2010
  • Beattie, Owen (Anthropology)
  • Mayne Correia, Pamela (Anthropology)
    Froese, Duane (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)