CREVICE INTERMENTS DECONSTRUCTED

Volume 2 (2015) – Article 1

CREVICE INTERMENTS DECONSTRUCTED

By: Stephen L. Black, M. Katherine Spradley, and Michelle D. Hamilton

ABSTRACT
The discovery of two well-preserved human crania in a crevice overlooking a spring-fed creek near Austin, Texas, led to medico-legal, archeological, and bioanthropological investigations aimed at understanding the context and biological affinity of the crania. Archeological excavations uncovered no evidence that the crania were interred in the crevice during prehistoric times. Skeletal analysis showed they were of Native American ancestry. Radiocarbon dating indicated they are contemporary to one another and probably date to the seventh or eighth century A.D. Measured stable isotopic rations of carbon (13C/12C) and nitrogen (15N/14N) derived from human bone collagen samples from the crania are not consistent with other burial populations from the region, having higher nitrogen values than all other comparative samples. The crania also showed polish from repeated handling and several of the molars in one cranium had been glued in place. Taken together, these lines of evidence suggest the crania were removed from an unknown locality outside the Central Texas region, kept in a private collection, and placed in the crevice recently.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s