It is well recognized among forensic anthropologists that the estimation of the time since death is dependent on multiple factors including context, environmental and geographical factors.
The research for the proposed book involved accessing the Australian National Coronial Information System, unique in the world, to collate data about decomposed bodies found in the eastern states of Australia from the years 2000 to 2010. This data revealed that in Australia over 70% of decomposed bodies are found in a house or unit and over 70% are found within 14 days. From the standard autopsy reports, a quantitative method of assessing the degree of decomposition in four specific body organs and the total appearance of the body was collated into a total body score (tbs).
The accuracy of the method was tested by attending a series of decomposed body autopsies at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine in Melbourne and by decomposing two bodies under controlled conditions inside a structure at the Forensic Anthropology Research Centre of Texas State University, San Marcos.
The resulting research data was then used to develop mathematical models for estimating the time since death in decomposed bodies found indoors, up to 14 days after death, in the states of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and the Northern Territory of Australia.
- Explores national statistical data concerning decomposed human bodies
- Presents Total Body Score (TBS) from standardised autopsy reports
- Includes research to prove the efficacy of a TBS from actual autopsies and actively decomposing bodies at a forensic research facility
- Presents a compilation of mathematical models to estimate the time since death in human bodies found decomposed indoors in the eastern states and the Northern Territory of Australia
The development of research into human decomposition 2. A brief review of research into the estimation of the time since death 3. Materials and Methods 4. Modelling the Time since Death 5. The Practical Application of the Models 6. Discussion and Conclusions
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.