Preliminary aspects of this work were presented at the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Washington, DC, February 19–22, 2008, as a poster presentation for the Young Forensic Scientists Forum.
Microscopic Indicators of Axe and Hatchet Trauma in Fleshed and Defleshed Mammalian Long Bones†
Article first published online: 24 APR 2009
© 2009 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 54, Issue 4, pages 793–797, July 2009
How to Cite
Lynn, K. S. and Fairgrieve, S. I. (2009), Microscopic Indicators of Axe and Hatchet Trauma in Fleshed and Defleshed Mammalian Long Bones. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 54: 793–797. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2009.01062.x
- Issue published online: 23 JUN 2009
- Article first published online: 24 APR 2009
- Received 26 May 2008; and in revised form 20 Aug. 2008; accepted 7 Sept. 2008.
- forensic science;
- forensic anthropology;
- axe wounds;
- hatchet wounds;
- SEM analysis;
Abstract: The characterization of wounds in bone caused by chopping weapons has been based on either semi-fleshed or defleshed specimens. This approach has not been adequately justified as reflecting actual cases involving fleshed bone. Likewise, the histological appearance of features in chopping wounds also deserves further attention. We used 11 fresh pig (Sus scrofa) articulated hind limbs, including the femur, tibia, and fibula with contiguous surrounding flesh (including an intact epidermal layer), to receive wounds using two axes and two hatchets. Scanning electron microscopy analysis of these wounds exhibited osteon pullouts in the fracture surfaces of fleshed specimens, suggesting the attenuation of force by the surrounding flesh. Lamellar separation was also exhibited at the impact sites and fracture surfaces of both fleshed and defleshed specimens. A consistently rough morphology is characteristic of fracture surfaces while impact surfaces are smooth and yielded evidence of striations from each implement.