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From the beginning we knew we had 2 individuals because we have two skulls.
First couple days we spent just examining and identifying the bones just trying finding out what made them unique.
A lot of our findings came through the little things.
The more we worked on the bones the more we were able to develop an individual.
Individuals in this burial were buried at different times.
One of the individuals died between the age 18 to 22.
There were two separate os coxae fragments in the burial, one male and one female.
One male and one female skull.
Two pairs of ulna and radii
One left humerus
One right clavicle
One right ischium
And various other bone fragments
We found that this ulnar head fit perfectly with this ulnar body
We believe that these skull's deformations came from cradle boarding because we were lead to believe that the skulls belonged to Native Americans. The forensic anthropologist and paleopathologist agreed with us.
Root damage or..... MURDER?!?!?
Deformations on the skulls caused by cradle-boarding.
The radius and ulna pairs belonged to the same individual, as do most of the other long bones.
On this bone we found small cut marks. When consulting with the paleopathologist we originally believed that theses were possibly obtained as wounds during life or from defleshing during death when we believed that the skull holes were due to violent causes. However, after showing this to the forensic anthropologist who told us that these cuts were probably made during the excavation of the bones we now believe that to be the most likely scenario due to the different color of the cuts compared to the rest of the bone.
This clavicle has fused but the line of the fusion of bone is still clearly visible. This lead us to place the age of this individual between the ages of 18-22.
When we originally found these bones we believed them to be from the same individual as they are from opposite sides and that seemed to be the case with all of the other bones other than the skulls, but after closer inspection we found that the greater sciatic notches seem to have different degrees of narrowness and the one that is fragmented has very well-defined preauricular sulcus. From these differences we determined that the small fragmented piece was probably that of a female and that the other larger piece was probably that of a male.
We found with that these bones actually made up pairs and also were most likely from the same person due to the similar size and taphonomy of the left and right ulnas and the left and right radii. One of the ulnas is slightly longer than the other, but the forensic anthropologist seemed to think that the bones were still from one individual as peoples bones can vary in size slightly from one side to the other.
These skulls show holes in both of their heads. At first we believed that they were due to pre-mortem wounds, but after realizing the extensive root damage to the bones when talking to the forensic anthropologist we ended up agreeing with her that they were probably caused by roots boring into the skulls.
A pathology that we did find with the skull was healing Cribra Orbitalia. This is a sign of someone having megaloblastic anemia when they were young.
Root damage, definitely root damage.
We believe that the three confirmed individuals were buried at different times due to the different taphonomy of each skull and the single bones of the body.
We did not find cause of death, only many postmortem marks from roots and excavations. We believe that these bones belong to Native Americans and that the cultural modification we found is possible cradle boarding because of this.