Forensic Science Research For A Novel

by Gil Bean
(Hammonton, New Jersey, USA)

Photo Credit: Oliver Hammond

Photo Credit: Oliver Hammond

I'm doing research for a novel, and have a few questions. Hopefully somebody can help.

1. Is it possible for the skeleton of an unburied human to remain relatively intact for 200 years? What are the circumstances under which that may happen?

In my story, a man's body is washed away by strong river waters in the spring and into a tributary of the river. If the body were trapped in the mud, for example, could the skeleton be found 200 years later?

2. What things on the body might still be intact - a metal amulet (probably); pieces of deerskin leggins?

3. Could a knife wound to the abdomen leave any kind of mark on the vertebrae? If so, which one(s). I really appreciate your help, and I will undoubtedly have more questions.

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