International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 132, Issue 2, pp 643–648 | Cite as

Macroscopic and stereomicroscopic comparison of hacking trauma of bones before and after carbonization

  • Véronique Alunni
  • Luísa Nogueira
  • Gérald Quatrehomme
Original Article


This experimental study examined lesions produced by a hatchet on pig femurs before and after carbonization. A total of 30 lesions were produced and analyzed using stereomicroscopy and then reexamined after carbonization. Not only was the sharp-blunt mechanism of the hacking trauma (V-shape, regularity of one edge, irregularity of the other edge, upraising, lateral pushing back, fossae dug laterally to the edge) still recognizable after carbonization; in some instances, the carbonization actually enhanced the features observed. Carbonization also did not significantly alter the measurements of the lesions. Carbonization tends to alter the structure of the bone especially in areas weakened by the blunt trauma.


Forensic anthropology Bone trauma Hacking trauma Burned bones Hatchet marks Stereomicroscopy 



We wish to thank Gérard Page for his help and Marie-Catherine Francino for her relevant advice.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut Universitaire d’Anthropologie Médico-Légale, Faculté de Médecine, and CEPAM (CNRS 7264)Université Côte d’AzurNice Cedex 2France
  2. 2.Institut Universitaire d’Anthropologie Médico-Légale, Faculté de MédecineUniversité Côte d’AzurNice Cedex 2France

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