The samples were examined by low-powered light microscopy, compound light
microscopy and electron microscopy, photographed, a subsample from sample B
was analysed by X-ray microanalysis and a larva from sample B was submitted to a
consultant entomologist for identification and comment.
Sample A was found to consist mainly of man-made synthetic and natural fibres with
some feathers and few hairs. There were however, some very distinctive black and
white hairs present. There was relatively little fine-grained sediment and few
arthropod/insect remains were found. Examination of the very fine-grained
suspended sediment revealed a relatively high level of rod-shaped bacteria.
Sample B contained more than twice the mass of solid material (dried) compared to
that in samples A and C. It contained a high level of human and animal hair; cat and
possibly rodent, mud-like sediment, sand grains and arthropod/insect remains. The
red and yellow died hairs found in the sample were considered likely to have
originated from the carpet itself. A larva found in the samples was identified as that of
a White-shouldered house moth. A relatively low level of bacteria were found in the
very fine-grained suspended sediment in this sample.
Sample C contained less solid material (dried) than samples A and B. Most of the
sample consisted of man-made, synthetic and natural fibres with some hairs and
fragments of plant material and a few feathers. A moderate level of fine-grained
sediment and a single insect fragment were found. Examination of the very fine-
grained suspended sediment revealed a relatively high level of rod-shaped bacteria
and a large number of squamous epithelial-type cells that were considered to be