The History of Forensic Investigation

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The History of Forensic Investigation <i>(Image: Unsplash)</i>
The History of Forensic Investigation (Image: Unsplash)

Forensic science is the application of science to criminal and civil law.


3000 BCE-The removal and examination of organs removed from corpses by the Egyptians can be considered the earliest autopsy

44 BCE-Roman physician Antistius performs first officially recorded autopsy on the body of Julius Caesar

1st century ad-Roman orator and jurist Quintilian used basic forensics to free an innocent

13th century-The book Xi Yuan Lu (The Washing Away of Wrongs) by Song Ci in China became the earliest available literature to help determine the cause of death.

16th century-Italian surgeons Fortunato Fidelis and Paolo Zacchia laid the foundation of modern pathology by studying the changes in in the structure of the body due to disease

1776-Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele first developed a chemical test to detect arsenic in corpses

1814-Mathieu Orfilla known as Father of Forensic Toxicology published the first scientific treatise on the detection of poison.He is the first to be credited with attempting to use a microscope to assess blood

1835-Henry Goddard became the first to connect a bullet to a murder weapon using physical analysis

A few years later, a doctor "experimenting" with the corpses of dead soldiers in Malta discovered that body temperature dropped at regular intervals following death, and could be used to determine time of death.

1880-Sir Francis Galton developed the first technique of fingerprint matching

1860-The Henry Classification System developed by Sir Edward Henry was adopted as the standard for criminal fingerprinting techniques worldwide

1910-Edmond Locard formulated the basic principles of forensic science”Every contact leaves a trace,” he was called the ‘Sherlock Holmes of France’