Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Anthropology (Forensic Anthropology Option)

Department or School/College

Department of Anthropology

Committee Chair

Ashley McKeown

Commitee Members

Randall Skelton, Pei-Lin Yu


Calcium Oxide, Cut Marks, Forensic Anthropology, Lime, Saw Marks


University of Montana


The use of calcium oxide (lime) in both agricultural and burial customs has been seen since the Iron Age. Due to this usage, the myth stating that the application of this chemical will expedite the complete destruction of human remains developed. This myth, in conjunction to historical and contemporary instances of its usage related to criminal activities has demonstrated a need to better understand the interactions of this chemical with bony tissue, particularly as it relates to saw cutmarks. Using pig elements as proxies for human remains, this research aims to systematically examine the degenerative effects resulting from the application of calcium oxide to bone with traumatic defects, specifically as it pertains to class characteristics commonly found in saw cutmarks on bone. At the conclusion of a four week duration while utilizing two depositional contexts, the saw cutmarks on the remains did not display any significant alterations that may be attributed to the chemical application of calcium oxide.



© Copyright 2013 Heidi Lynne Johnson