Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: Stains on bone

Stains on bone

From: Jane Hoff <janehoff56>
Date: Friday, October 19, 2001
    **** Moderator's comments:
    This query comes from a person who is not on the DistList and
    will not see any responses that are posted here.  Please respond
    directly to sender and if of general interest post it here as well

I am a Forensic Anthropologist and I work with the Office of the
Medical Examiner in Salt Lake City, Utah. In two recent cases I have
worked on, human bones have been discovered with stains ranging from
neon-pink to red. I have been doing this work for more than twenty
years (although not in Utah) and I have never seen this before.

The stains on one set of remains were scattered in a series of small
dots.  On the other set they looked more like a wash of color, but
they were still localized and did not cover all the bones.  The
remains had in common that they were completely skeletonized and had
been in the "field" for one to two years.  One set had been buried
deep and the other was on the surface; they were also found in very
different terrain. They were found about 100 miles apart and there
is no reason to suspect a criminal connection between the two sites.

Neither set was clothed and no source of the color was found in/on
the soil in context with the bones.  The color did not develop or
change after discovery.  Several types of tests have been done to
try to determine the composition of the stains, but so far no one
has been able to i.d. it.  Does anybody have any ideas?

Jane Hoff
Forensic Anthropologist
Office of the Medical Examiner
Salt Lake City, Utah

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:34
                 Distributed: Monday, October 22, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-15-34-016
Received on Friday, 19 October, 2001

[Search all CoOL documents]

URL: http://