What people think are human bones: Preliminary results from the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM)/La Trobe University animal bone project

Jillian Garvey, Soren Blau, Kimberley Crabtree

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch


Each year, the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM) receives numerous reports of potential human ( Homo sapiens ) skeletal remains from the police who obtain information from archaeologists, the public and various other sources. In the majority of cases, a forensic anthropological analysis concludes that the material comprises non-human (i.e. animal) skeletal remains, rather than those derived from a human. As non-human skeletal remains are not of medico-legal significance, the species and elements are not usually identified and it is not necessary to retain this material. A collaborative project was developed between the VIFM and La robe University, involving a detailed faunal analysis of non-human skeletal remains admitted to the VIFM between 2005 and mid-2015 to identify patterning in the species, element and context of bones mistaken for human skeletal remains. Preliminary results indicate that a variety of animal taxa, both native and introduced, are admitted to the VIFM, as well as a range of anatomical parts
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExcavations, Surveys and Heritage Management in Victoria
EditorsCaroline Spry , Elizabeth Foley , David Frankel, Susan Lawrence
PublisherLa Trobe University
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9781326923549
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventVictorian Archaeology Colloquium - La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 5 Feb 20165 Feb 2016
Conference number: 5th


ConferenceVictorian Archaeology Colloquium
Internet address

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