Heritage Cases

THE RATES AND PATTERNS OF DECOMPOSITION OF PORCINE REMAINS BURIED IN DIFFERENT SOIL TYPES IN THE HIGHVELD OF SOUTH AFRICA

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Case Type: 

ProposalDescription: 

I would like to gather approximately 800l of soil excavated from Bolts Farm Quarry for the purposes of my research for my Masters dissertation in Forensic Medicine. I aim to bury a piglet in +- 80l of this soil for a few months and observe their decomposition patterns compared to decomposition within other soil types in summer and winter. The soil will be gathered from Gauteng.

Expanded_Motivation: 

The soil types chosen (based on consultation with Prof. Stratford) were Quartzite from West Park Cemetary, as well as Dolomite from the Sterkfontein region. These soil types will also be compared to mine dump soil. The piglets will be buried in this soil for three months, during which time their decomosition, as well as the pH and water content of the soil will be recorded. A comparison of effects of different types of soil present in South Africa, including mine dump soil, on the rates and patterns of decomposition will not only allow for comparison to similar international studies, but will also pilot the research into the effects of mine waste on decomposition. Further development of this study will allow for more accurate PMI estimations in forensic cases involving clandestine graves in many different soil types in South Africa.

ApplicationDate: 

Friday, January 22, 2021 - 14:55

CaseID: 

16009

OtherReferences: 

ReferenceList: 

Citation Type Date Retrieved
Keough, N., Myburgh, J., and Steyn, M. (2017). Scoring of Decomposition: A Proposed Amendment to the Method When Using a Pig Model for Human Studies. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 62(4): pp 986-993. Journal 20/02/2020
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