About HOT


3D animation illustrating heat-induced changes to a human humerus (Unwarping Heated Bones project, by João d'Oliveira Coelho).

Hi! My name is David Gonçalves and I coordinate the ResearcH PrOject of the CEI/XXI Burned SkeleTons (HOT). You may learn more about me in the collaborators section. For now, let me explain you what this project is all about. To put it simply, The objective of HOT is to improve our understanding of heat-induced changes to bone and teeth and to improve analytical methods that are specific to burned skeletal remains. In order to do that, skeletons from the CEI/XXI collection are being partially burned under laboratorial conditions (to know more, take a look at our projects section and check Ferreira et al., 2014).


I have a number of collaborations with other researchers who share with me a common interest in burned human skeletal remains of both archaeological and forensic provenance. The bioanthropological examination of this particular kind of human remains is often troublesome since it tends to be affected by heat-induced changes. Among other features, these alter the colour, the morphology and the dimensions of bones and teeth thus impairing the adoption of conventional bioanthropological techniques used to estimate age-at-death, sex, ancestry and stature as well as to achieve positive identification and the recognition of perimortem events. As could be expected, the repercussions of these alterations for the osteological examination are dramatic, particullarly in forensic settings.


This quest is funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (SFRH/BPD/84268/2012 and PTDC/IVC-ANT/1201/2014)