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Macroscopic and Microscopic Analysis of Knife Stab Wounds on Fleshed and Clothed Ribs

Authors


Additional information and reprint requests:
Roxana Ferllini, M.A.
Institute of Archaeology
University College London
London WC1H OPY
U.K.
E-mail: r.ferllini@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

Abstract:  Stab wounds upon bone are analyzed to interpret the weapon used and the physical context in which the attack occurred. The literature demonstrates that most research conducted pertaining to wound patterns has been carried out on defleshed and unclothed bone samples, not adequately replicating actual circumstances. For this research, six half pig torsos (Sus scrofa), fleshed (including muscle, fat, epidermis, and dermis layers) and clothed, were stabbed using three knife types, applying both straight and downward thrusts. Analysis conducted macroscopically and through a scanning electron microscope with an environmental secondary electron detector revealed a general lack of consistency in wound pattern and associated secondary effects. Consequently, it was not possible to establish wound pattern per knife type as suggested in previous research or relate it to stab motion. Advantage of microscopic analysis was evident in recognizing wound traits and observation of trace evidence not visible macroscopically.

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