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Investigating forensics

Investigating forensics

Stratigraphy: Determine the Order of Events

 Recover / Stratigraphy: Determine the Order of Events

 

Case: CFR 139 Stratigraphy: Determine the Order of Events

Excavation starts with the removal of the "highest", or most recent, layer. You will excavate until you find the bottom of the grave. As you find items, describe them and document their location. Remember, your job is to determine the order in which events happened. In this exercise, you must order seven events correctly, from oldest (what happened first) to newest (what happened most recently). Don't forget, older events are usually lower than more recent events. As items within the grave are discovered, their location and a description should be documented in drawings and photographs before they are collected.
How did the print get under the body? Would it have been made before or after the body was placed in the grave?
Consider this
The creation of a footprint in the grave.
How did the print get under the body? Would it have been made before or after the body was placed in the grave?
Soil takes a long time to form. If the soil is still in layers (strata), it has probably been like this for many years.
Consider this
The laying down of the “sterile”, or natural, soil in the area.
Soil takes a long time to form. If the soil is still in layers (strata), it has probably been like this for many years.
To be buried, a hole must have existed before the body was deposited. Thinking ‘stratigraphically’, the “fill” must have gone in after the body.
Consider this
The placing of the body in the grave.
To be buried, a hole must have existed before the body was deposited. Thinking ‘stratigraphically’, the “fill” must have gone in after the body.
Notice how the hand is just below the ground’s surface? It was probably scavenged after the body was already buried in the grave.
Consider this
The scavenging of the hand and disturbance of the soil around it.
Notice how the hand is just below the ground’s surface? It was probably scavenged after the body was already buried in the grave.
Remember: flies need time to lay their eggs! This probably happened while the grave was being dug, but before it was filled in.
Consider this
The laying of fly eggs that became the pupa cases found on the body.
Remember: flies need time to lay their eggs! This probably happened while the grave was being dug, but before it was filled in.
The grave “cut” interrupts the natural soil layers. Logically, this happened after the soil formed, but before the body was put in the grave.
Consider this
The digging of the grave, as indicated by the walls and base (“the cut”).
The grave “cut” interrupts the natural soil layers. Logically, this happened after the soil formed, but before the body was put in the grave.
This is an easy one! A grave can’t be filled until it has been dug and a body placed inside. Otherwise, it’s not a grave!
Consider this
The burial of the body and filling of the grave, as indicated by the soil in the grave (“the fill”).
This is an easy one! A grave can’t be filled until it has been dug and a body placed inside. Otherwise, it’s not a grave!
Oldest
Newest