The University of Amsterdam has become the first European institution to set up its own facility to study the process of decomposition.
There are already a number of such facilities in the US and Australia. But although they can offer detectives essential new information for establishing the time and cause of death and sometimes for identifying dead bodies, results obtained in one environment may not be relevant in different climatic conditions.
Now the Netherlands’ Academic Medical Center, which is affiliated to the University of Amsterdam, has been licensed to create its own small cemetery on site, where bodies are buried to a depth of up to one metre.
Researchers from the university’s faculties of science and mathematics will work alongside those from Maastricht University, the Dutch Forensic Institute and national police agencies.