Journal of Texas Archeology and History




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 ( 13 C/ 12 C) and nitrogen ( 15 N/ 14 N) 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.

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The Journal of Texas Archeology and History.org is an organization dedicated to furthering research, education and public outreach in the fields of archeology and history concerning Texas and its bordering states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Northern Mexico; a region we call the “Texas Borderlands.” The J.T.A.H. is collaborating with the Index of Texas Archaeology and S.F.A.S.U. to distribute their publication library to the general public via free and open-access channels. Visit www.JTAH.org to submit an article.



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