Forensic anthropology carbon dating
This has to be done slowly and painstakingly, and the archaeologists will record and preserve anything found at every stage and depth (for example paint flakes, hair, clothing or DNA) as it may be vital evidence.
The colour and state of the soil may be useful in the investigation.
A forensic archaeologist’s first involvement may be to help the police locate the site where a body and victim’s personal items, or stolen goods are buried, through geological and geophysical surveying techniques, as well as using imaging and photography.
The forensic archaeologist may also help with the excavation, using similar tools and expertise to those used at an archaeological dig.
About once a month, James Pokines has a case at the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner that requires extra attention.
“The condition of the bone depends entirely on where you put it—every microclimate is a little different,” says Donald Siwek, a research assistant professor in the Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology at the School of Medicine.
Research has been ongoing since the 1960s to determine what the proportion of in the atmosphere has been over the past fifty thousand years.
The resulting data, in the form of a calibration curve, is now used to convert a given measurement of radiocarbon in a sample into an estimate of the sample's calendar age.
The radiocarbon dating method is based on the fact that radiocarbon is constantly being created in the atmosphere by the interaction of cosmic rays with atmospheric nitrogen.
The resulting radiocarbon combines with atmospheric oxygen to form radioactive carbon dioxide, which is incorporated into plants by photosynthesis; animals then acquire in a sample from a dead plant or animal such as a piece of wood or a fragment of bone provides information that can be used to calculate when the animal or plant died.
Forensic archaeologists can date items found in grave sites, including bones, using a range of techniques.