"Brienzi" - The blue Vivianite man of Switzerland: Time since death estimation of an adipocere body

Thali, Michael J.; Lux, Bettina; Lösch, Sandra; Rösing, Friedrich W.; Hürlimann, Joachim; Feer, Philipp; Dirnhofer, Richard; Königsdorfer, Urs; Zollinger, Ulrich (2011). "Brienzi" - The blue Vivianite man of Switzerland: Time since death estimation of an adipocere body. Forensic science international, 211(1-3), pp. 34-40. Shannon: Elsevier Scientific Publ. Ireland 10.1016/j.forsciint.2011.04.009

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In 1996, a cadaver in adipocere condition was discovered in a bay of the Brienzer See in Switzerland. The torso was named "Brienzi" following the "Iceman" Ötzi. Several outer parts of the body were incrusted; the incrustation was in blue color. Further investigations showed that the bluish covering of parts of the adipocere torso were a mineral known as Vivianite. Vivianite (Fe(3)(PO(4))(2-)(H(2)O)(8)) is an iron phosphate mineral with needle lengths between 100 and 150μm. It is normally associated in a context with organic archaeological and geological materials (some hundreds to millions of years old). Hitherto, it is only described in three cases of human remains. We were able to reconstruct the following facts about 'Brienzi': The man drowned in Lake Brienz or in one of its tributaries during the 1700s. The body was subsequently covered with sedimentation and thus buried under water. An earthquake produced an underwater landslide which eventually exposed the corpse.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine > Anthropology

UniBE Contributor:

Thali, Michael; Lösch, Sandra and Königsdorfer, Urs

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

0379-0738

Publisher:

Elsevier Scientific Publ. Ireland

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:20

Last Modified:

06 Dec 2014 01:50

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.forsciint.2011.04.009

PubMed ID:

21571462

Web of Science ID:

000293011400008

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Forensic science, Adipocere, Physical anthropology, Vivianite, Blue encrustation, Radiocarbon dating, Taphonomy, Time since death, Diatoms, Brienzi, Ötzi

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.6869

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/6869 (FactScience: 211913)

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