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Journal Article

Citation

Martin D, Dabbs GR, Roberts LG. J. Forensic Sci. 2013; 58(5): 1273-1278.

Affiliation

Department of Anthropology, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, 1000 Faner Drive, Mail Code 4502, Carbondale, 62901, IL.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2013, American Society for Testing and Materials, Publisher John Wiley and Sons)

DOI

10.1111/1556-4029.12177

PMID

23822193

Abstract

This study provides a descriptive analysis of the taphonomic changes produced by passing over skeletonized remains (n = 4, Sus scrofa) with three common lawn mowers. Two skeletons were mowed over with a riding lawn mower set at multiple blade heights (10.16, 7.62, 5.08 cm) and one each with a rotary mower (9.53, 6.35 cm) and a mulching mower (6.35 cm). Results show that different types of common lawn mowers will produce different patterns of bone dispersal and fragmentation rates. Overall, skeletal elements projecting upward from the surface frequently exhibited a sheared morphology characterized by a smooth, flat, cut surface (7.0-7.6% of elements). The push mowers yielded a higher frequency of undamaged bone than the riding mower (54.8-61.2% vs. 17.7%), and the riding mower created more catastrophic damage to skeletal elements. Additionally, each mower produced a distinct dispersal pattern of skeletal fragments. The dispersal patterns have been identified as "bull's-eye" (riding), circular (mulching), and discontinuous rectangle (rotary).


Language: en

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