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Guidelines for the recognition of cemetery remains in Greece.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
The American journal of forensic medicine and pathology
Publication Date
Volume
32
Issue
2
Pages
153–156
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e3182156405
PMID: 21436674
Source
Medline

Abstract

Forensic pathologists frequently consult anthropologists for the identification of skeletonized human remains. These remains may be the result of criminal activity or remains that were unearthed because of erosion, or during construction projects. In some cases, human remains that had been previously buried in a cemetery may be the subject of a forensic investigation. Early recognition of cemetery remains prevents unnecessary efforts and conserves precious resources. One of the key characteristics of cemetery remains is the presence of embalmed tissue. However, there are countries where embalming is not a common practice, and other clues must be sought for identifying previously buried remains. Current funerary customs in Greece and, in particular, the tradition of exhumations result in a large number of misplaced human remains. The present study presents examples of cemetery remains from Greece and offers guidelines for recognizing changes on skeletal remains that may be indicative of a cemetery origin. Location of discovery, condition of the remains, and the types of associated artifacts are all factors that aid forensic anthropologists in identifying cemetery remains.

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