Master of Arts (MA)


Geography and Anthropology

Document Type



In modern forensics, soil from crime scenes is not tested for the presence of blood proteins. This is due to the belief that proteins degrade too quickly for detection. The purpose of this paper is to report on the research performed in an effort to counter that belief and in so doing, suggests changes in the current procedures. Using pig blood as an analog for human blood, blood was deposited outside, at two separate locations roughly a half mile apart, at a southern Louisiana cattle farm. Over 18 months, samples were taken from cores at the deposition sites and these were tested for the presence of blood proteins at PaleoResearch Institute in Golden, Colorado. Crossover-Immunoelectrophoresis (CIEP) was used to test over 130 soil samples taken at three-month intervals. Results indicate further research is warranted. The control samples tested negative, while intermittent weak positive results for blood proteins from the samples were obtained. The lack of interpretable patterning in the positive results, however, renders my results inconclusive. Further testing with more controlled variables is required.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Saunders, Rebecca