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Uncanny Archaeology of Halloween

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Author Topic: Uncanny Archaeology of Halloween  (Read 2688 times)
Vlad the Impaler
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Posts: 1791

« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2009, 02:14:29 am »

The largest deposit, bone cluster 3, consists of a few human bones, and over 2,100 animal bones and fragments. Three humans are present. A 4-8-year-old child is represented by a lower jaw and some cranial fragments. A fragmentary right pelvic bone came from an adult female aged 35-39, and a pair of pelvic bones represent an adult male aged 40-44. A sacrum (the fused vertebrae forming the back of the pelvis) and several long bones could belong to either adult. The human bones are cracked from weathering and the pelvic bones were gnawed by carnivores--signs that they were exposed on the surface for some time. More startling is a distinctive "spiral fracture" on a femur (probably from the male), which can only happen if the bone is fresh when broken. The shaft of the femur is one of the strongest parts of the skeleton, and to fracture it requires great force; today this type of fracture in an adult most commonly occurs from high-energy collisions such as a car crash. In this case, there is little that could have generated the twisting force great enough to cause such a spiral fracture except a fall from a great height or a direct blow near the time of death. Given that the bone is separated from the rest of the skeleton, a blow seems more likely, and this may be evidence of the offering of marrow to the spirits, a Celtic practice documented by textual evidence from Europe.
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