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New data about the 21st Century Identified Skeletal Collection (University of Coimbra, Portugal)

Abstract

After the publication of the first article in 2014, 21st Century Identified Skeletal Collection, housed in the Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology, Department of Life Sciences at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, has been growing. Currently, the collection is composed of 302 complete adult skeletons of both sexes, which means that in 5 years it has doubled. The collection consists mostly of elderly individuals, with only 12.25% of the individuals aged less than 61 years old. All individuals are Portuguese nationals who died between 1982 and 2012. Ninety individuals exhibit prostheses, other medical devices and signs of surgical procedures. Moreover, a sub-collection of experimentally burned skeletons is under development, and currently includes 56 individuals (18.54% of the collection). The 21st Century Identified Skeletal Collection constitutes a fundamental tool for forensic anthropology research, including the development and validation studies of methods that focus on elderly individuals, as can be ascertained by the numerous scientific publications and academic scholarship that have been produced in previous years.

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Data availability

The 21st Century Identified Skeletal Collection is available for research.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank the Centre for Functional Ecology (financed by national funds by FCT—Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, under the project with the reference UI0197—UID/BIA/04004/2020) and Centro de Investigação em Antropologia e Saúde (financed by national funds by FCT—Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, under the project with the reference FCT-PEst-OE/SADG/UI0283/2019). The authors also want to thank all the volunteer students who, over the past few years, have helped build this collection. The authors also acknowledge the anonymous reviewers whose valuable comments and suggestions allowed us to improve the manuscript.

Funding

The co-authors Catarina Coelho (grant reference SFRH/BD/129826/2017), David Navega (grant reference SFRH/BD/99676/2014) and David Gonçalves (PTDC/IVC-ANT/1201/2014 & POCI-01-0145-FEDER-016766; and SFRH/BPD/84268/2012) have FCT—Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia grants.

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All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by all authors. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Maria Teresa Ferreira and Francisco Curate and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Maria Teresa Ferreira.

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Ferreira, M.T., Coelho, C., Makhoul, C. et al. New data about the 21st Century Identified Skeletal Collection (University of Coimbra, Portugal). Int J Legal Med 135, 1087–1094 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00414-020-02399-6

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Keywords

  • Forensic anthropology
  • Human skeletal biology
  • Reference collections
  • Burned remains