'Cut to the Bone': The Enhancement and Analysis of Skeletal Trauma Using Scanning Electron Microscopy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)


The examination and identification of traumatic lesions within forensic and archaeological contexts is a crucial element in understanding the events surrounding the death and postmortem treatment of an individual. The enhanced imaging capabilities of scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) enable human interactions, primarily in the form of interpersonal violence, to be interpreted based on tool or weapon marks found on human skeletal remains. The aim of this chapter is to illustrate the usefulness of SEM micrographs when analyzing sharp-force trauma by examining the tool marks resulting from anatomical dissection on human skeletal remains from the 18th and 19th centuries. The analysis of the tool marks associated with human dissection has revealed a vast amount of information about the history of medicine and early anatomical education. The enhancement of the morphological characteristics of the tool marks revealed the types of surgical instruments used for dissection and how medical bodies were treated and utilized within early anatomical education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman Remains: Another Dimension
Subtitle of host publicationThe Application of Imaging to the Study of Human Remains
EditorsDavid Errickson, Tim Thompson
PublisherAcademic Press
ISBN (Print)978-0-12-804602-9
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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