Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Frank L'Engle Williams

Second Advisor

Alice Gooding

Third Advisor

Susan Kirkpatrick Smith

Fourth Advisor

Bethany Turner-Livermore


The use of explosives has become a predominant weapon in cases of human rights abuses. In order for forensic anthropologists to interpret and identify blast trauma in these scenarios, experimental studies on the fracture patterns and dispersion associated with an explosion are necessary. This study aims to examine the effects of a plywood wall and the inclusion of shrapnel materials on the manifestation of blast trauma on the appendicular skeleton in a sample of 32 euthanized wild pigs (Sus scrofa) that were positioned 5’ from the explosive devices. Shrapnel was found to increase the severity of trauma, while the plywood wall was determined to be insufficient to produce a different trauma pattern. Traumatic amputations of the lower limbs were observed in both groups. Size was a significant factor in explaining the total number of injuries to the appendicular skeleton such that smaller animals had more fractures than larger ones.