James T. Pokines

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Malapa is one of the richest early hominin sites in Africa and the discovery site of the hominin species, Australopithecus sediba. The holotype and paratype (Malapa Hominin 1 and 2, or MH1 and MH2, respectively) skeletons are among the most complete in the early hominin record. Dating to approximately two million years BP, MH1 and MH2 are hypothesized to(More)
Human fetal skeletal elements of different gestational ages were screened with multiple mesh sizes (6.4 mm [1/4 inch], 3.2 mm [1/8 inch], 2.0 mm, and 1.0 mm) to determine their recovery rates. All remains were previously macerated, and no significantly damaged elements were used. The 6.4 mm mesh allowed a large loss of elements (63.2% overall), including(More)
This project examined the effects of burning on saw mark characteristics of isolated semi-fleshed white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) long bones as a substitute for human remains. Different classes of saws were examined to determine which type of saw mark characteristics are obliterated when burned and which are not. The saw mark characteristics that(More)
Rodent and lagomorph species have a worldwide distribution and have the potential to alter remains from forensic cases by gnawing soft tissue and bones and through dispersal. The present research compiled metric data on the incisors widths of all rodent and lagomorph species whose ranges include Massachusetts, U.S.A., to compare their sizes to gnawing(More)
This forensic case report describes the taphonomic effects of woodland vole (Microtus pinetorum) upon a set of skeletonized human remains recovered in Massachusetts, USA. Remains of an individual of this rodent species were discovered where it had been nesting inside the human cranium. Fine, parallel grooves indicative of small rodent gnawing were noted on(More)
Santería and Palo Mayombe are West African-derived religions/sects with components of Catholicism, and both involve the ritual use of nonhuman skeletal remains which make them an increasing object of forensic interest. Palo Mayombe specifically involves also the use of human skeletal remains placed within ritual cauldrons or ngangas along with multiple(More)
A sample of 49 cases of cemetery remains received at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Massachusetts (OCME-MA), in Boston was compared with published taphonomic profiles of cemetery remains. The present sample is composed of a cross section of typical cases in this region that ultimately are derived from modern to historical coffin burials and get(More)
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a marker of degeneration within the skeleton, frequently associated with age. This study quantifies the correlation between OA and age-at-death and investigates the utility of shoulder OA as a forensic age indicator using a modern North American sample of 206 individuals. Lipping, surface porosity, osteophyte formation, eburnation,(More)
Agricultural activity is a worldwide taphonomic process and can present unique challenges in the recovery of buried remains. Previous research has been mostly within the realm of site formation processes of archeological sites utilizing only surface material. This research expands upon the previous research by incorporating the distribution of subsurface(More)