A study of archaeological human skeletal remains from site 41PT25 in West Texas

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Authors
Davis, Ivy A.
Issue Date
2012-05
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Thesis
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en_US
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Abstract

As part of the Antelope Creek phase on the Southern Plains, the prehistoric archaeological assemblage represented by the Footprint Site (41PT25) is distinct in both the condition and distribution of skeletal remains, deviating from the descriptions of skeletal patterns typically observed at and associated with other archaeological sites associated with this phase. The distinctions are represented by the dispersal of several skeletal elements across a room floor, a clustering of skulls separate from the three burial pits, and evidence of skeletal trauma, some of which may infer possible cases of trauma related to violence. In addition, unique to approximately 8% of nearly 6,000 individual fragments of human skeletal remains is the presence of heat and fire-related lesions in varying degrees (Moore-Jansen et al. 2011). Some lesions are consistent with flesh burns, while others may be reflective of burns of different origins, such as accidental or intentional cremation. While the research is ongoing, this study reveals the variety of burn lesions, the biological profile of individuals with burned skeletal elements, and skeletal portions exhibiting burn lesions. In addition, the state(s) of the human remains at the time of the burn event(s) is assessed. This study addresses the nature of burns and their association with types of or portions of bone in order to place the evidence of burned bone in the context of human activities and explore previously raised questions about potential violence or warfare associated with the Antelope Creek Phase.

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Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Anthropology
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Wichita State University
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Copyright Ivy A. Davis, 2012. All rights reserved
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