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Estimation of the Time since Death - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128157312, 9780128163689

Estimation of the Time since Death

1st Edition

Current Research and Future Trends

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Editors: Jarvis Hayman Marc Oxenham
Paperback ISBN: 9780128157312
eBook ISBN: 9780128163689
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 6th March 2020
Page Count: 282
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Estimation of the Time Since Death is a current comprehensive work on the methods and research advances into the time since death and human decomposition. This work provides practitioners a starting point for research and practice to assist with the identification and analysis of human remains. It contains a collection of the latest scientific research, various estimation methods, and includes case studies, to highlight methodological application to real cases.

This reference first provides an introduction, including the early postmortem period, biochemical methods, and the value of entomology in estimating the time since death, along with other factors affecting the decomposition process. Further coverage explores importance of microbial communities in estimating time since death. Separate chapters on aquatic environments, carbon 14 dating and amino acid racemization, and total body scoring will round out the reference. The final chapter ties together the various themes in the context of the longest running human decomposition facility in the world and outlines future research directions.

Key Features

  • Provides the first comprehensive reference to bring together all aspects of knowledge relating to the estimation of the post-mortem interval in decomposed human bodies
  • Contains real case studies that underscore key estimation concepts
  • Demonstrates the changing role of technology and advances in the estimation of time since death


Researchers and Academics in the fields of Forensic Anthropology, Forensic Archaeology, Pathology and Taphonomy. Instructors teaching in these fields.

Table of Contents

1. Approaches to time since death estimation
Jarvis Hayman, Marc F Oxenham
2. Estimation of the time since death in the early postmortem period (24-48 hours)
Roger W. Byard
3. Biochemical Methods of Estimating Time Since Death
Lena M. Dubois, Katelynn A. Perrault
4. The application of insects to the estimation of the time since death
James F. Wallman, Melanie S. Archer
5. TSD estimation in the advanced stages of decomposition
Eline M.J. Schotsmans, Wim Van de Voorde, Shari L. Forbes
6. The Importance of Microbial Communities in the Estimation of the Time Since Death
David O. Carter
7. The postmortem interval and skeletal remains
Alyce Cameron, Marc Oxenham
8. Estimation of the TSD in an Aquatic Environment
Felicity Gilbert, Marc Oxenham
9. Radiocarbon and Amino Acid Racemization (AAR) and the time since death
Stewart Fallon, Colin Murray-Wallace
10. The Development of Grading Systems to Determine Human Decomposition: Total Body Scoring of Decomposed Human Bodies in Indoor Settings
Jarvis Hayman, Marc F Oxenham
11. The Future of Taphonomic Research
Giovanna M. Vidoli, Melanie M. Beasley, Lee Meadows Jantz, Joanne Bennett, Dawnie Wolfe Steadman


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2020
6th March 2020
Academic Press
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Editors

Jarvis Hayman

Jarvis Hayman is a retired surgeon who studied archaeology, completing a Master’s degree at the Australian National University in Canberra with a thesis on the archaeology of the Scottish Highland Clearances. He then combined his medical and archaeological knowledge to complete a PhD on the estimation of the time since death in decomposed human bodies in Australian conditions. His research areas of interest are: historical archaeology and forensic archaeology/anthropology. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University and the co-author of Human Body Decomposition.

Affiliations and Expertise

Visiting Fellow, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

Marc Oxenham

Marc Oxenham is a Professor in Bioarchaeology at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. His expertise in human skeletal biology has been recognized nationally through invitations to consult on a range of forensic cases for the Australian Federal Police, Australian Government Solicitor, The Australian Defense Forces (in particular Unrecovered War Casualties-Army) as well as the New South Wales Police Force. His main research has concentrated on exploring aspects of human palaeopathology and behavior by way of analyses of human skeletal and dental material. He has held teaching and research positions at Colorado College, USA, and the ANU. He was president of the Australasian Society of Human Biology (2012-14), an Australian Future Fellow (2013-17), elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 2011 and elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2016.

Affiliations and Expertise

Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

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