Forensic sciences applied to anthropological remains from historical contexts have the potential to increase the volume of data for a better understanding of ancient cultures.
Keywords: Forensic Science, BPA, Shroud of Turin, Vampire, Pandemic
Recent research using forensic scientific methods alongside historical remains have been carried out on remains of historical individuals (such as Giuliano de Medici), as well as on unknown ordinary people. One of the most relevant applications is the analysis of the alleged bloodstains on the Shroud of Turin (published on the JFS in 2018). The study replicated the bleeding of an individual fixed on a Roman cross and demonstrated the artificial origin of the blood droplets on the relic.
Another example of this approach is the analysis of the so-called “Vampire of Venice”. The case involved the grave of an individual who died during the pandemic plague of 1576 in Venice. According to widespread superstition, the corpse was believed to belong to a Nachzerer, a specific kind of vampire considered to be responsible for the pandemic. The corpse was “killed” by placing a piece of brink inside their mouth. The research carried out in conjunction with the National Geographic Society, also allowed for a better understanding of the birth of vampire beliefs from a misinterpretation of the decomposition process.
Other Projects from Matteo Borrini
As an accredited forensic anthropologist, I offer my services to investigate war crimes, human rights violations, and in the recovery of casualties from WWII. This case of the identification and repatriation of an Italian sailor, Carlo Acefalo, has been particularly significant.