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Forensic Taphonomy: The Postmortem Fate of Human Remains

Forensic Taphonomy: The Postmortem Fate of Human Remains



  • William D. Haglund
  • Marcella H. Sorg  


  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: CRC; 1 edition (December 13, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849394341
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849394348
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 7 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds


Book Description

Links have recently been established between the study of death assemblages by archaeologists and paleontologists (taphonomy) and the application of physical anthropology concepts to the medicolegal investigation of death (forensic anthropology). Forensic Taphonomy explains these links in a broad-based, multidisciplinary volume. It applies taphonomic models in modern forensic contexts and uses forensic cases to extend taphonomic theories. Review articles, case reports, and chapters on methodology round out this book’s unique approach to forensic science.  



Useful and Outstanding, April 7, 2007

I am a law enforcement officer who is also a search and rescue coordinator. I am occasionally tasked with providing SAR management and resources during forensic searches. I bought the book after my interest was piqued. However, this book has turned out to be INCREDIBLY useful. The section on animal scavangeing (article after article–bears, canine, rodents, insects) is very useful for ME/coroners or LEO. There’s some science, but nothing you can’t understand if you stayed awake in high school(!) Virtually every time a new question comes up, it’s in the book. I’m currently studying the transport of remains in water. If you need this kind of knowledge, the definately buy the book. 

Overview of the field of forensic taphonomy, October 15, 1998

Haglund and Sorg have done an excellent job of compiling and assembling information about the diverse field of taphonomy. The authors chosen to contribute to this volume are the leaders in their respective sub-disciplines and are illustrative of the many forms taphonomy can take. They further demonstrate that taphonomy is no longer considered just as: the study of skeletal assemblages in paleoecological and archaeological settings. It is a growing, diversifying, multi-faceted field. Students of taphonomy will find references in this book invaluable. In short: it will be your greatest resource in taphonomical studies.