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HOT News

Media attention to the IRonBONE project

December 2016

Our latest trip to the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory caught the eye of the BBC. Check out the piece broadcasted on the 8th of December of 2016, featuring our collaborators Maria Paula Marques, Luís Batista de Carvalho, Ana Vassalo from the University of Coimbra and Giulia Festa from the University of Rome.

2nd Meeting of the INMLCF

November 2016

We attended the 2nd Meeting of the Instituto Nacional de Medicina Legal e Ciências Forenses that took place on the 9-11th of November od 2016. These were our talks adn poster:

Aplicação do método de Lamendin para a estimativa de idade em dentes recentemente extraídos de uma amostra portuguesa actual

Santos I, Gouveia M, Cunha E, Gonçalves D

Estudo pioneiro sobre as variações pós-deposicionais em restos esqueléticos queimados e não-queimados: implicações para a bioantropologia

Amarante A, Ferreira MT, Cunha E, Gonçalves D

Individualização de vestígios humanos queimados dispersos e/ou misturados através da espectroscopia vibracional

Makhoul C, Cunha E, Batista de Carvalho L, Gonçalves D

The Force awakens? O efeito da gravidade na ocorrência de deformação térmico-induzida 

Vassalo A, Mamede A, Ferreira MT, Cunha, Gonçalves D

Ana Amarante finished her MSc thesis

September 2016

A new thesis based on the HOT project was brilliantly defended by Ana Amarante with the title Burned bones vs unburned bones: a pilot study about the impact of differential post-depositional taphonomy on bioanthropological research

The thesis was presented under the Masters on Human Biology and Evolution at the Department of Life Sciences of the University of Coimbra. We intend to publish some of the results in 2017 and we'll let you know when that happens.

Latest meetings

July 2016

You can download here our latest posters!

85th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropology (13-16th April of 2016, Atlanta, USA)

Sex diagnosis of the human dentition after heat exposure: the potential of cementum-enamel junction and root dimensions
Gouveia M, Santos IO, Santos AL, Gonçalves D

50th Dental Anthropology Scientific Symposium (9-11th June of 2016, Zagreb, Croatia)

A peek into burnt teeth: analyses of dental tissues for age at death estimation

Santos IO, Gouveia M, Cunha E, Gonçalves D (2016)

Check out our latest publications!

July 2016

Marques MP, Gonçalves D, Amarante A, Makhoul C, Parker S, Batista de Carvalho LA (accepted) Osteometrics in burned human skeletal remains by neutron and optical vibrational spectroscopy. RSC Advances, 6: 68638-68641 DOI: 10.1039/C6RA13564A


Vassalo A, Cunha E, Batista de Carvalho LA, Gonçalves D (accepted) Rather yield than break: assessing the influence of human bone collagen content on heat-induced warping through vibrational spectroscopy. International Journal of Legal Medicine. DOI: 10.1007/s00414-016-1400-x

Gonçalves D, Pires AE (2016) Cremation under fire: a review of bioarchaeological approaches from 1995 to 2015 Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences

(DOI: 10.1007/s12520-016-0333-0


We attended the first conference of the APCF and the 68th Annual Meeting of the AAFS!

February 2016


HOT Project related researches were presented in these two events. Podium and poster presentations were given at the 1st conference of the Associação Portuguesa de Ciências Forenses in Porto (February 12). 


Discrimination of burned human remains through vibrational spectroscopy

Makhoul C (presenter), Batista de Carvalho L, Cunha E, Gonçalves D


In Las Vegas, our talk at the AAFS meeting (February 22-27) had the following title:


Forensic examination of burned human skeletal remains: shifting the paradigm

Gonçalves D, d’Oliveira Coelho J, Makhoul C, Santos I, Vassalo T, Ferreira MT, Batista de Carvalho L, Cunha E (presenter)


New paper out!

January 2016


A new paper with collaboration of the HOT Project was accepted by the open-accessed Journal of Spectroscopy!


The advantage of combining ATR–IR and XRD analyses of burned skeletal remains for the estimation of maximum temperature.

Piga G, Gonçalves D, Thompson TJU, Brunetti A, Enzo S, Malgosa A



We are recruiting a Research Fellow!

December 2015


A researcher will be recruited under the IRonBONE project (PTDC/IVC-ANT/1201/2014). Application starts tomorrow and eligibility and conditions can be consulted here.


Among other requisites, the candidate should have have a Mater's degree in Biological Anthropology and have some experience in vibrational spectrocopy. The deadline is 8th of January of 2016.





Encontros com o Património at the Archaeosciences Laboratory

December 2015


The popular TSF radio show dedicated to HERITAGE and hosted by Manuel Villas Boas took place at the Archaeosciences Laboratory of the Portuguese Directorate General for Cultural Heritage. The interview (in Portuguese) can be listened to here.



Latest media attention targeting the HOT Project

December 2015


Here are some of the latest news regarding our infrared research project. Thank you to all media that have shown interest towards the project. Below, you can also listen to our TSF interview (in Portuguese)


- TVI24

- Publico

- Pravda

- Rádio Universidade de Coimbra

- Jornal A Cabra


HOT Project mentioned by the Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage (DGPC)

November 2015


The HOT Project was once more highlighted in the news. This time, it was the government entity that rules Portuguese cultural heritage that featured a piece about our recent mission at ISIS. You can check it here.


Our thanks to DGPC.

HOT Project at BBC!

November 2015


Following our experiments at ISIS (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK), we have been getting some media attention. Our project was one of the researches focused on the BBC World Service show Science in Action that was broadcasted yesterday (12th of November of 2015) . You can stream the show here. Our burned bone research is mentioned in minute 11:40. You can also listen to the interview here:




The piece was published online here and our research is also highlighted at the ISIS website here.


Our thanks go to Jonathan Webb, Jack Stewart and all the wonderful team at Science in Action as well as to Emily Mobley at the Science and Technology Facilities Council.


Burned bones project at ISIS

November 2015


It is no secret that one of the major objectives of the HOT project is to better understand heat-induced changes on human skeletal remains. This week, we are giving a major step to achieve that goal by using inelastic neutron scattering to document changes in both unburned bones and experimentally burned bones. After a successful application, beamtime was attributed by ISIS at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (UK) to our project from the 4th to the 8th of November of 2015 to use the MAPS instrument. Maria Paula Marques (PI), Luís Batista de Carvalho and David Gonçalves, along with ISIS instrument scientist Stewart Parker, are making the analyses which can be followed live at the ISIS website. Visit the website to know more about the proton accelerator that we are using.



II Conference of the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences

October 2015


Research under the HOT project was presented in this event that took place on the 29th and 30th of October. The following communications were presented:


Cimentocronologia: Estimativa de idade à morte em dentes queimados

Santos I, Gouveia M, Cunha E, Gonçalves D


Diagnose sexual em dentes humanos queimados: uma abordagem experimental sobre as mudanças induzidas pelo calor nas dimensões dentárias

Gouveia M, Santos I, Santos AL, Gonçalves D


Discriminação de indivíduos em vestígios humanos queimados e dispersos usando espectroscopia vibracional

Makhoul C, Amarante A, Batista de Carvalho L, Cunha E, Gonçalves D

Bone collagen as a factor for heat-induced warping was investigated in a new MSc thesis

September 2015


Knowing the pre-burning condition of human remains is of critical importance for both archaeological and forensic science. Recently, this topic was innovatively addressed in a MSc thesis by Ana Vassalo. This research was carried out within the HOT project.


While the paper in English does not come out, you may download the thesis (in Portuguese) here



Cementochronology was the focus of a new MSc project

September 2015


A brilliant thesis, developed within the HOT project, on the potential of cementochronology for age at death estimation based on burned human skeletal remains was recently defended by Inês Santos under the Masters on Human Biology and Evolution at the Department of Life Sciences of the University of Coimbra.


The thesis was presented in Portuguese and is available for download here. A paper in English will soon be submitted as well. We'll let you know when it is published! 



New MSc Thesis on Burned Teeth

July 2015


Márcia Gouveia brilliantly defended her thesis focusing on the potential of odontometric features for  sex estimation based on burned remains. This research was carried out under the Masters on Human Biology and Evolution at the Department of Life Sciences of the University of Coimbra. It is also part of the investigation developed within the HOT project.


The thesis was presented in Portuguese and can be downloaded here. Expectantly, a paper written in English will be soon submitted. We'll keep you updated on this! 



II Bioanthropological Meeting

May 2015


The HOT project participated in this meeting at the University of Coimbra (29th and 30th of May). Four poster presentations were presented:


The potential of cementochronology for age-at-death estimation in burned teeth 

Santos I, Gouveia M, Cunha E, Gonçalves D


Evaluation of the potential of odontometry for sex estimation in burned human skeletal remains

Gouveia M, Santos I, Santos AL, Gonçalves D


The protocol for the preparation of burned identified skeletons of the CEI/XXI collection

Makhoul C, Coelho J, Gouveia M, Santos I, Vassalo A, Ferreira MT, Cunha E, Gonçalves D


Warping in burned human skeletal remains: assessing the influence of bone collagen through vibrational spectroscopy

Coelho J, Cunha E, Gonçalves D

International Symposium on Anthropology              
and Natural Disasters

April 2015


The HOT project attended this event that was held at the University of Coimbra on the 17th and 18th of April. We participated with the following presentations in this multidisciplinary meeting:


The Hot Topic of Burned Human Skeletal Remains:  Coimbra’s contribution to Forensic Anthropology (both podium and poster presentations)

Gonçalves D, Coelho J, Gouveia M, Makhoul C, Santos I, Vassalo A, Santos AL, Batista de Carvalho L, Cunha E


Pioneering the Collection of Identified Burned Skeletons (poster presentation)

Gonçalves D, Ferreira MT, Cunha E


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