Death And Forensics | EssayIvy.com

Death and Forensics

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Death and Forensics
In the present time, people have become so much intrigued by the idea of forensic anthropology
which has today became an immensely popular subject and it is not unusual for a forensic
anthropologist to come up with murder or death mysteries. Forensic anthropologists are
specialists in the field of forensics where they use technology and science to investigate and
establish facts or evidence when identifying the death, sex, age, race and the cause of death of
the deceased. It is clear that the work of forensic anthropologists is varied since they also help
the police during their investigation that is helping to identify the dead as well providing
extensive evidence that can lead to a conviction.
According to Lavenda (pg. 176), the field of forensic anthropology first developed in the United
States. The emergent of forensic anthropology was the onset of the term body farm in the United
States where it refers to as a research amenity where putrefaction can be analyzed and studied in
a diversified setting. The objective of body farms is usually to gain insight or rather a deeper
understanding of the putrefaction process, giving rise to the development and application of
expertise and proficiency for extracting information in the circumstances of death as well timing
of death from a dead body among other forensic aspects.
Hypothetical Experiment to be Undertaken in Body Farm
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Body farms is a term that researchers find to be sensational but has stuck in the field of forensics
following the 1994 publication by Patricia Cornwell in her forensic novel “The Body Farm.”
Today, body farms are working tirelessly and in handy with the police with the aim of coming up
with evidence to bring offenders to justice. Interestingly, in this case, study the most appropriate
hypothetical experiment to undertake in a farm body is primarily taphonomy which is basically a
paleontological science that explores on what happens to a body right after death. According to
Williams, (2015, web), human decomposition or rather a taphonomy is a complicated process
which is extensively affected by changes in the surrounding environment as well conditions.
Concerning a piece by Lavenda in his book, (pg. 180), Lavenda and his colleagues give a story
where a body was found dead and the forensic team at that time couldn’t crack the case which
remained unsolved for quite some time. If the field of taphonomy was widely explored at this
time, then experts in this field could have helped the police to what happened to the individual
after death among other factual information. McRoberts reckons that the field of taphonomy
ranges from post-mortem to decomposition, compaction among other biological, chemical and
physical activities that affect the remains of an organism (web).
Today advanced taphonomy has taken another dimension where there are three different stages
that taphonomy (Gastaldo, web). The three states namely; necrology which represents factors
that revolve about the time of death or rather affiliated directly with the basis of the death. It also
involves studies that examine bones, skull fractures among other clues that surround or cause
death. Biostratinomy on the other hand identifies the changes that occur right after death that is
decomposition as well changes that act as environmental influencers that is in burial sites such as
cemeteries, mass graves or even tombs or even places where remnants were found such as rivers.
Lastly, we have diagenesis which is the process of lithification in other words compaction of the
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sediments that envelop the remains which ultimately result in fossilized bones. Diagenesis gives
a clue to paleontologists about the environment, topographical, geographical or even climatic
changes concerning the terrestrial or even maritime environment where the human remains were
found.
The forensic taphonomy conjecture focuses on the perimortem (which deals with estimating the
time of death), and post-mortem (which comes after days or weeks after death) biochemical and
biological transformations. It aims at determining the cause of death and estimating the
approximate time of death as well identifying the various body parts including sex, race age and
whenever possible the full identity of the individual (Gastaldo, web). Considering our today’s
dynamics, it is critical that we adopt the practice of taphonomy forensics so that we may have a
deeper understanding of how various environments interfere with the biochemical and biological
transformations within the human remnants affecting the process of putrefaction.
It's through taphonomy forensics that the police can identify detect, and analyze deliberate
burials, fluvial transport of human remains, decomposition rates in marine and terrestrial
contexts, degradation of trace evidence among other paleontological related facts. Taphonomy
gives extensive insights or rather a deeper understanding of the decomposition procedure, giving
rise to the development and application of proficiency and expertise for extracting information,
the circumstances of death and timing of death from a dead body among other forensic aspects.
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Work Cited:
Gastaldo, Et al, A Brief Introduction to Taphonomy: A Laboratory Manual with Internet
Exercises, Contemporary Publishing Company of Raleigh, (2017), Accessed on 23
rd
February 2018 http://personal.colby.edu/~ragastal/Taphonomy.htm
Lavenda H. Robert, Anthropology: What Does It Mean to Be Human, Oxford University
Press, (2014) ISBN- 10: 01900210842
McRoberts, Taphonomy and Preservation, Cortland, Accessed on 23
rd
February 2018
http://paleo.cortland.edu/tutorial/Taphonomy%26Pres/taphonomy.htm
Williams Anna, “Coming to a Field Near You; The “Body Farms” Where Human Remains
Decompose in the Name of Science, State Forensic Anthropologist, (2015), Accessed on
23
rd
February 2018 https://phys.org/news/2015-11-field-body-farms-human-
decompose.html

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