A palynological study was carried out on 28 corpses brought in one year (June 2003–May 2004) to the morgue of the Institute of Legal Medicine of Parma (Northern Italy). This preliminary research focuses on the date of death, which was known for all corpses examined. Pollen sampling and analyses were made with the first aim of comparing the pollen grains found on corpses with those diffused in the atmosphere in the region in the same season as the known date of death. Eyebrows, hair-line near the forehead, facial skin and nasal cavities were sampled. Most of the corpses had trapped pollen grains, with the exception of two December corpses. All pollen grains were found with cytoplasm and in a good state of preservation. In this way, a series of reference data was collected for the area where the deaths occurred, and we examined whether pollen grains on corpses could be an index of the season of death. To verify this hypothesis, the pollen analyses were compared with data reported in the airborne pollen calendars of Parma and the region around. Pollen calendars record pollen types and their concentrations in the air, month by month. The quantity of pollen recorded on corpses did not prove to be directly related to the quantity of pollen in the air. But qualitatively, many pollen types which are seasonal markers were found on corpses. Main corpse/air discrepancies were also observed due to the great influence that the local environmental conditions of the death scene have in determining the pollen trapped by a corpse. Qualitative plus quantitative pollen data from corpses appeared helpful in indicating the season of death. A preliminary sketch of a “crime pollen calendar” in a synthetic graphic form was made by grouping the corpse pollen records into three main seasons: A, winter/spring; B, spring/summer; C, summer/autumn. Trends match the general seasonal trend of pollen types in the air.
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|Anno di pubblicazione:||2006|
|Titolo:||Towards a “crime pollen calendar” - Pollen analysis on corpses throughout one year|
|Autori:||E. Montali; A.M. Mercuri; G. Trevisan Grandi; C.A. Accorsi|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.forsciint.2005.11.020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Articolo su rivista|
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