Effects of burning on human bone microstructure: A preliminary study

B. Bradtmiller, J. E. Buikstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


The microscopic determination of age at death in human bone is a widely used technique in forensic anthropology. Despite its use, little attention has been given to the reliability of microscopic aging when the subject has been burned, either at the time of death, or after death. This preliminary report examines some of the variables of the burning process that may affect the age estimates. Preliminary conclusions are: (1) bone burned at 600°C retains all of the structures necessary for microscopic aging ad (2) bone shrinkage, widely reported in the literature, does not appear to have significant effect on the age estimate. A research plan is outlined that will address some of the questions left unanswerable in the present report.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-540
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Genetics


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