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Perimortem and postmortem fracture patterns in deer femora.

PERIMORTEM AND POSTMORTEM FRACTURE PATTERNS IN DEER FEMORA. Catherine S. Wright, Department of Anthropology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-3350.

In bioarchaeology and in forensic work, there is a problem identifying perimortem from postmortem breaks in long bones. Aside from the two extremes of green stick fractures in very fresh bones and perfectly transverse breaks in very dry bones, there is no set methodology to categorize all of the breaks between the two extremes. Therefore, the question remains unanswered as to whether or not there are specific criteria from which one can differentiate between perimortem and postmortem breakage patterns in femora. This question is pertinent to anthropology because the analysis of traumatic injuries can help us gain insight into human behavior (Walker 2001: 576). Bone fracture patterns may help accurately determine the cause and manner of death (Symes 2005: 203). The purpose of this experiment is to find out if certain values of a variable appear in one group (old bones) that do not appear in the other (new bones), and vice versa. With this in mind, I hypothesize that perimortem fracture patterns in deer femora will contain more acute angles at the break site than right angles, which are more prevalent in postmortem breaks. If a significant difference is found between the two groups, then we will have a refined methodology with which to categorize unknown bones as perimortem or postmortem.
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Title Annotation:Behavioral and Social Sciences Paper Abstracts
Publication:Journal of the Alabama Academy of Science
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U6AL
Date:Apr 1, 2009
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