Maria Teresa Ferreira

Maria Teresa Ferreira
University of Coimbra | UC · Centre for Funtional Ecology, Department of Life Sciences

PhD

About

115
Publications
21,462
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Introduction
Maria Teresa Ferreira currently works at the Centre for Funtional Ecology, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra. Maria Teresa does research in Biological Anthropology, Archaeology and Forensic Science. Their current project are: "Bioarchaeology of Slavery" and "Differentiating trauma from postmortem artefacts: a forensic taphonomic approach"
Additional affiliations
October 2014 - present
University of Coimbra
Position
  • Invited Assistant Professor

Publications

Publications (115)
Article
Full-text available
In forensic anthropology, there is an inherent difficulty in estimating the post-mortem interval (PMI). This study aimed to assess whether there is a correlation between changes in the bone mineral component and the PMI estimation. Samples of femur and humerus from 80 identified individuals with known post-mortem interval were analyzed. Infrared sp...
Article
Full-text available
This study aims to carry out the first geometric morphometric analysis of the 3D size and shape of the full series of cervical vertebrae delving into variability related to sex and population background. For this reason, we analyzed the cervical vertebrae of both males and females belonging to Europeans, Africans, and Greenland Inuit. We 3D-scanned...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this article is to present to the scientific and academic community the Unidentified Skeletal Collection of the Capuchos Cemetery. The skeletons, of contemporary individuals, were collected from the same cemetery as those of the 21st Century Identified Skeletal Collection, but their identification is unknown. The collection is composed o...
Article
Full-text available
For identification of the unknown, the analysis of individualizing characteristics is a paramount procedure, which allows the reconciliation of antemortem with postmortem data. Worldwide, populations are commonly affected by tooth loss, leading to procedures of oral rehabilitation, such as dental prostheses. Although the potential of these devices...
Article
Full-text available
Background Hansen’s disease (leprosy), widespread in medieval Europe, is today mainly prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions with around 200,000 new cases reported annually. Despite its long history and appearance in historical records, its origins and past dissemination patterns are still widely unknown. Applying ancient DNA approaches to i...
Article
Identified (documented) osteological collections represent an important resource in the development of forensic anthropology standards and methods as well as a precious tool for learning and training of practitioners. Even though the number of papers presenting identified collections worldwide increases, many of the collections have still not been...
Article
Objectives: Even though much is known about bone mineral and matrix composition, studies about their relationship with several bone properties and its alterations related to bone diseases such as osteoporosis are practically non-existent in humans. Thus, the development of methods to understand the effects of bone properties at a microscopic level...
Poster
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Increasing requests from academic students of all levels and different backgrounds to have practical trainings during their studies motivated this project to be developed. After the identification of the need, the development of several workshops begun in 2016 as an additional hands-on approach to Forensic Anthropology. Through innovative and multi...
Poster
Full-text available
The correct interpretation of highly fragmented, commingled and abundant bone assemblages implies normally a thorough and detailed excavation. Archaeothanatology has provided the theoretical and methodological tools to reconstruct past mortuary and funerary gestures and practices. Part of this conceptual knowledge has been acquired during the excav...
Article
The true impact of heat-induced changes in human bone regarding their sex estimation has not been comprehensively documented having a potentially negative impact on forensic anthropology. The objective of this paper was to evaluate how heat exposure affects sex estimation based on both morphological and metric features. The study focused in both lo...
Article
Although being a standard technique for bone mineral density (BMD) measurements and its study and application to defleshed bones started in the past decade, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) has not been applied to burned bones. However, DXA analyses on burned bones can foreseeably increase our knowledge regarding the changes that occur on bon...
Article
Dental enamel hypoplasia, a defect of enamel formation, has been widely used for the investigation of growth disruptions in past populations, as it provides a permanent record of disturbances occurring during an individual's development. With the aim of recording changes in health status during development of the African enslaved individuals recove...
Article
Full-text available
In forensic anthropology, the application of traditional methods for estimating the biological profile of human skeletal remains is often hampered by poor preservation and skeletal representativeness, compromising their reliability. Thus, the development of alternative methods to the morphometric analysis of bones to estimate the biological profile...
Article
After the publication of the first article in 2014, 21st Century Identified Skeletal Collection, housed in the Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology, Department of Life Sciences at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, has been growing. Currently, the collection is composed of 302 complete adult skeletons of both sexes, which means that in 5 years it...
Article
Objectives: Heat exposure can lead to apparently random osteometric changes that hinder the application of metric methods used for biological profiling. The impractical-ity of using objective and burn-specific osteometric methods reduces the chances of establishing the biological profiles of unknown individuals based on their skeletal remains. We i...
Article
Full-text available
Heat-induced bone changes are being increasingly studied. Namely, it is necessary to evaluate some relevant assumptions regarding experimental investigations involving burned bones. This study intends to assess potential bilateral asymmetry between antimeres and the effect that the application of the Primal SF-016 preservative may have in the inorg...
Article
In 2009, a salvage archaeological excavation in Valle da Gafaria (Lagos, Portugal) brought to light the skeletal remains of 158 African enslaved individuals (15th–17th centuries), from which several presented intentional dental modifications on their anterior dentition. Although this cultural practice may be related to rites of passage, differentia...
Poster
Forensic taphonomy is an emerging field of great relevance which can be applied within and beyond forensic scenarios. Due to an ageing population and the slow body decomposition rate, Portuguese cemeteries are now encountering problems with a high number of natural mummified bodies. City halls are constantly concerned about the lack of burial space...
Poster
Full-text available
Numa perícia de Antropologia Forense, a avaliação da cronologia dos eventos traumáticos é um processo fundamental para a identificação e compreensão da causa e circunstância da morte de um indivíduo. As fraturas antemortem constituem um testemunho dos eventos traumáticos ocorridos durante a vida dos indivíduos e, quando comparados com registos conf...
Presentation
Human taphonomic processes are not fully understood though major advances have been made over the past years. Despite the legal significance it might have in forensic scenarios, studying spontaneous human mummification has not been a major focus of the scientific community mainly due to the difficulty of performing investigations with the human spe...
Presentation
Full-text available
En junio de 2018 una actuación promovida por familiares de los desaparecidos y por la ARMH llevó a cabo una exhumación de tres integrantes del ejército de tierra de la Segunda República Española de la fosa común del cementerio vecinal de la localidad de Canseco, perteneciente al municipio de Cármenes, provincia de León, noroeste de España. Estos so...
Poster
Full-text available
Lesiones perimortem: Siete lesiones inciso-cortantes en el cráneo (Figuras 1, 2b, 2e). Una lesión en el maxilar derecho con daño en premolares y molares, y en el cuerpo mandibular izquierdo con daño en el incisivo central, incisivo lateral y canino (Figuras 1, 2a, 2c, 2d). La penetración observada en cada lesión (Tabla 1) es parcial en las marcas:...
Article
The aim of this work is to discuss the frequency of traumatic bone injuries in a quite unique skeletal assemblage of enslaved people from Valle da Gafaria, Lagos, Portugal (15th-17th centuries). In all, 30 males, 58 females, and 15 individuals of unknown sex were included in the study. The skeletal remains were macroscopically observed for traumati...
Article
Full-text available
The Muge shell middens of Cabeço da Arruda, Cabeço da Amoreira and Moita do Sebastião (central Portugal) have been key sites of archaeological research for 150 years, possibly working as residential sites occupied by semi-sedentary communities during the final Mesolithic. The purposes of this article include the biocultural assessment of metacarpal...
Article
In 2009, an excavation carried out in Valle da Gafaria, Lagos, Portugal, allowed for the recovery of the skeletal remains of 158 individuals buried in a dump used during the 15th‐17th centuries. The archaeological context of the findings, the presence of African items associated with the skeletons, the skulls’ morphology, and the presence of intent...
Poster
Full-text available
Les dents sont les pièces les plus résistantes du squelette humain et ont des caractéristiques spécifiques qui nous permet d’individualiser différentes personnes. Pour l’anthropologie dans le contexte de la médecine légale, cette procédure est très importante pour l’identification positive de cadavéres et de personnes vivantes. Depuis 2015, le Labo...
Poster
Full-text available
Introdução: Durante uma intervenção arqueológica no Castelo de Portalegre, em 2005, foram identificadas sete inumações (6 adultos e 1 adolescente, todos do sexo masculino) na zona do pátio. As fontes históricas sugerem que poderiam tratar-se dos enterramentos de militares das tropas de Wellington, uma vez que há a notícia do enterramento de um Tene...
Poster
Full-text available
A diáfise dos ossos longos são maioritariamente compostas por osso compacto, sendo das regiões mais mineralizadas do esqueleto logo mais resistentes (White e Folkens, 2005). No caso do fémur, este está preparado para grandes cargas, especialmente verticais. A sua fratura, sobretudo ao nível do meio da diáfise, é pouco frequente, quando comparativam...
Poster
Full-text available
As diferentes fases de consolidação das fraturas: um caso de estudo Introdução O presente trabalho visa caracterizar as lesões observadas no indivíduo 222 da Coleção de Esqueletos Identificados do Século XXI (CEI/XXI) da Universidade de Coimbra, que exibe um conjunto de lesões antemortem, ocorridas em períodos diferentes da sua vida, e lesões perim...
Poster
Full-text available
La fouille d'une décharge urbaine (XVe-XVIIe siècles) à l'extérieur des murs de la ville de Lagos (Portugal) a permis d'exhumer les restes squelettiques de 158 individus d'origine sub-saharienne. Depuis le travail sur le terrain, les estimations de l'âge au décès et du sexe des adultes ont été problématiques. Cependant, ces paramètres sont essentie...
Poster
Ancestry assessment is highly important in the establishment of the biological profile of an unidentified skeletal individual. Throughout a forensic enquiry, biogeographic affinity may lead the case into a new direction and help police investigators identifying individuals from the missing persons list. Nonetheless, estimating ancestry may be a cha...
Poster
Full-text available
Num caso de Antropologia Forense, a avaliação do perfil biológico de um indivíduo não é suficiente para se chegar a uma identificação positiva. Neste sentido, a busca de características únicas que tornam os indivíduos diferentes dos demais é imperiosa para o sucesso na resolução de um caso forense. Exemplos dessas características são os dispositivo...
Article
Full-text available
In forensic anthropology, the age-at-death of an adult individual is one of the most complex parameters of the biological profile to estimate. The present study aims to evaluate the reliability of the Calce (2012) method for the estimation of age-at-death through acetabulum changes in a sample of Portuguese origin. This method consists of the globa...
Article
Extreme fragmentation can complicate the inventory of human skeletal remains. In such cases, skeletal mass can provide information regarding skeleton completeness and the minimum number of individuals. For that purpose, several references for skeletal mass can be used to establish comparisons and draw inferences regarding those parameters. However,...
Poster
Full-text available
No presente trabalho damos a conhecer o indivíduo 114 da Coleção de Esqueletos Identificados do Século XXI (CEI/XXI) da Universidade de Coimbra, que apresenta um conjunto de lesões perimortais. Apesar de se tratar de um indivíduo identificado, a causa e as circunstâncias da morte ainda não são conhecidas, apresentando-se um diagnóstico diferencial.
Presentation
Full-text available
XXXIIIème Colloque du GALF (Coimbra): Nous avons le plaisir de vous informer que la 33e édition du « Groupement des Anthropologistes de la Langue Française » qui réunit des spécialistes en Anthropologie biologique de plusieurs pays, se tiendra au Portugal pour la toute première fois les 22 et 23 novembre. http://lfa.uc.pt/xxxiiieme-colloque-du-galf...
Article
Objectives: According to eco-geographic rules, humans from high latitude areas present larger and wider trunks than their low-latitude areas counterparts. This issue has been traditionally addressed on the pelvis but information on the thorax is largely lacking. We test whether ribcages are larger in individuals inhabiting high latitudes than in th...
Presentation
Full-text available
A expansão marítima portuguesa começou na primeira metade do século XV, tendo sido o Infante D. Henrique a sua força motriz. Durante a vida do Infante em Lagos, era a esse porto que chegavam as embarcações vindas de África. Entre outras mercadorias estavam também escravos oriundos da África subsaariana. Apesar das abundantes fontes históricas, pouc...
Article
The aim of this study is to analyse the growth of a sample of 31 non-adult individuals buried in an unusual way in Valle da Gafaria (Lagos, Portugal) between the 15th and 17th centuries. The archaeological and historical context of the skeletal collection (N=158), the morphological traits of the skulls and the presence of intentionally modified tee...
Poster
Full-text available
As análises de densitometria realizadas nesta amostra não apresentaram diferenças significativas (com excepção do CMO na região intertroncantérica), embora as diferenças caso a caso sejam relevantes. A simetria de DMO em fémures antímeros ainda continua a ser uma questão por responder, pelo qual se recomenda a sua continua exploração no futuro.
Article
The importance of the identified skeletal collections for research and teaching in anthropology is well-known and widely reported. In fact, in recent years, there has been a growing number of new collections around the world, such as the 21st Century Identified Skeletal Collection curated in Coimbra, Portugal, the University of Athens Human Skeleta...
Article
Accurate and effective data collection from human remains in a forensic examination is often hindered by unpredictable factors such as taphonomy, pathology and recovery. The main purpose of this preliminary work is to illustrate the value of statistical reconstruction of missing cranial landmark three-dimensional coordinates in the context of ances...
Article
Full-text available
In a forensic case, ancestry is one of the four parameters of the individual's biological profile to be estimated. The cranium is the most informative part of the skeleton for this analysis, although sometimes it is absent or damaged. To overcome this limitation, some researchers conducted ancestry estimation studies in the postcranial skeleton. In...
Article
Burned skeletal remains often undermine the anthropological methodology's reliability due to heat-induced changes (HIC). Research based on controlled experimental burnings has tried to address this problem, but may not replicate real scenarios as it employs homogeneous heating provided by electrical furnace. In contrast, real fire situations are of...
Presentation
Distintas metodologias têm vindo a ser desenvolvidas na perspetiva de uma estimativa da ancestralidade mais precisa em indivíduos esqueletizados. Contudo, quando um novo método é criado, é indubitavelmente importante avaliar o seu grau de confiabilidade. A interpretação dos dados obtidos no decorrer de uma investigação deve ser contextualizada send...
Article
In forensics, assessing the pre-burning condition is important to determine the circumstances of death. Heat-induced warping (HIW) occurs more frequently on non-dry bone but is not a reliable indicator of the pre-burning condition of human remains. Several factors have a significant effect on warping (e.g. maximum temperature) but others are still...
Article
The knowledge of the decomposition process takes a progressively central role in cemetery management. In Europe there is an increase in constructing concrete modules that allow aerobic decomposition, which, theoretically, have advantages. By allowing the circulation of oxygen they will lead to a rapid decomposition, and, consequently, permit burial...
Poster
Full-text available
Alguns métodos utilizados para inferir a integridade do esqueleto são baseados na massa do esqueleto, sendo esta comparada com referências publicadas. Porém, o enterramento pode promover alterações ao nível da composição macroscópica e microscópica do osso sendo o seu impacto ao nível da massa quase inteiramente desconhecido. Neste trabalho investi...
Article
Although the post-mortem interval (PMI) is essential in forensic sciences, dating skeletonized remains is a complex task for forensic scientists, not only because of the lack of reliable methods that currently exist for its estimation but also due to the variability of the cadaveric decomposition process, which involves a series of factors. Weather...
Presentation
Full-text available
Os Antropólogos Forenses são frequentemente confrontados com cenários onde predominam restos esqueléticos queimados que podem advir de exposições acidentais ao fogo ou de práticas de crimes. O processo de queima provoca alterações na morfologia, dimensão e massa do esqueleto, que se acrescem às que ocorrem durante o enterramento (e.g. superfície do...
Conference Paper
The morphological and metric methods used by anthropologists to assess ancestry can generate results with low repeatability besides damaging the specimens while handling. These problems have led to the development of a new approach based on skulls acquisition with a 3D scanner, using the resulting models to make measurements and morphological analy...
Article
Estimation of the post-mortem interval (PMI) is critical in reconstructing events surrounding death. Despite representing a pertinent legal question, PMI estimation is difficult. This is confirmed by the lack of reliable methods, notably when dealing with skeletonized remains. Some authors present time-successive stages of increasing decay suggesti...
Article
Full-text available
In 2009, a skeletal collection of 158 individuals was excavated in Valle da Gafaria, Lagos, Portugal. These individuals were buried in an unusual way, having been discarded in an urban dump located outside the medieval city walls, dated from the 15th–17th centuries. Lagos was, at the time, an important slave trade harbour, and during the excavation...
Article
The assessment of sex is crucial to the establishment of a biological profile of an unidentified skeletal individual. The best methods currently available for the sexual diagnosis of human skeletal remains generally rely on the presence of well-preserved pelvic bones, which is not always the case. Postcranial elements, including the femur, have bee...
Article
Intentional dental modifications are alterations of teeth usually performed as a ritual for aesthetic or identity purposes. However, the execution of the technique is not exempt from risk and can be related to a higher prevalence of dental pathology, more specifically through the exposure of the dental pulp and consequent periapical inflammation. W...
Article
Objectives Complete and accurate human skeletal inventory is seldom possible in archaeological and forensic cases involving severe fragmentation. In such cases, skeletal mass comparisons with published references may be used as an alternative to assess skeletal completeness but they are too general for a case-by-case routine analysis. The objective...
Article
Full-text available
In 2006, an excavation at Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Faro, Portugal, revealed a cemetery dating from the 16th–19th centuries with several phases of use, one of which presented 51 sub-adult individuals that had been abandoned at the institution through the ‘foundling wheel’—a device that allowed people to leave unwanted newborns anonymously. Of t...
Article
Craniometric analysis plays an important role in anthropology studies and forensics. This paper presents CraMs, an application using a new craniometric approach based on 3D models of the skull. The main objective is to obtain, through a process supervised by anthropologists, the main points of interest used to compute craniometric measurements. The...
Article
Full-text available
Estando a presença de escravos africanos abundantemente documentada no registo historiográfico português, a sua representação no registo arqueológico era até 2009 muito pouco significativa. Nesse ano, a construção de um parque de estacionamento no Vale da Gafaria em Lagos, constituiu uma oportunidade inestimável de documentação objectiva da presenç...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
There are many factors that influence the cadaveric decomposition, such as morphology, bone mineral density, pathologies, age-at-death, sex or post-mortem interval (PMI). It is our purpose to analyze the state of preservation and the influence of taphonomic factors in the bone weight in a sample of 107 skeletons from the 21st Century Identified Ske...