Forensic Taphonomy Study

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This study concentrates mainly on forensic taphonomy as it is a study of the interaction between a carcass or a corpse with their environment. Forensic taphonomy can be defined as the study of decomposition of human cadavers and the processes that influence it (Buekenhout et al. 2016; Carter et al. 2007). The study on decomposition rate in Malaysia is needed as we lack of data base on post mortem changes based on different coverings in tropical climate compared to other countries as the degree to which external factors influence the rate of decomposition differs between geographical regions (Myburgh 2010; Pinheiro 2006). Moreover, local studies showed that decomposition rate of carcass in Malaysia is different when compared to other countries…show more content…
2004; Fiedler & Graw 2003), decomposition of a corpse commences immediately after death and involves the consecutive processes of autolysis, putrefaction and decay. Post mortem changes consists of early and late post mortem changes. Early post changes can be observed through the processes of rigor mortis, algor mortis and livor mortis. Rigor mortis is the stiffening of voluntary and involuntary muscles on the carcass or corpse. Livor mortis occur as a result from accumulation or blood pooling within dilated vascular channels at the lower part of body due to the gravity (Lee 2009; Powers 2005).Algor mortis can be defined as body cooling process or decreasing in body temperature until equal to ambient temperature (Parsons 2009; Reddy & Lowenstein 2011). Meanwhile, late phase of post mortem changes consists of five main stages which is fresh, bloated, active decay, advanced decay and skeletal…show more content…
2008; Hauteo et al. 2013). Moreover, based on Casper’s rule, a buried corpse requires six to eight times longer than a corpse decaying on ground surface to reach the same stage of decomposition (Fiedler & Graw 2003). Besides that, the depth of grave play an important role as it would restrict or slow down the access of scavenger animals and insect activity hence decomposition process required longer time to occur. The deeper the depth of the grave, the harder for the scavenger animals or insects to get access to the corpse or

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