jueves, 19 de junio de 2014

Siberian Bronze Age skull reveals secrets of ancient society

Burial 48 skull and grave goods in situ in the grave pit...

Unlike most hunter-gatherer societies of the Bronze Age, the people of the Baikal region of modern Siberia (Russia) respected their dead with formal graves. These burial sites are a treasure trove for archaeologists and one particular specimen was so unique that bioarchaeologist Angela Lieverse traveled across the world just to bring it back to the Canadian Light Source synchrotron for examination.

"I've conducted research with the Baikal-Hokkaido Archaeology Project since the late nineties, and this specimen really intrigued me," said Lieverse, associate professor at the University of Saskatchewan. "I've known about this skull for about 10 years and there are a couple things about it that are fascinating."

The first, she said, is that this individual is missing the two front teeth on the lower jaw. And the second is that there is an obvious stone projectile tip embedded in the exact same spot of the mandible where the two incisors should be.

"We knew there was a projectile, we could see it, but we didn't know if it occurred years before the individual died or if it happened around the same time as his death," she added. "I suspected it happened earlier and had something to do with the very unusual missing teeth."

The specimen was found in a marked cemetery northwest of Lake Baikal. The skeleton was buried ceremoniously with a nephrite disk and four arrowheads, one of which was broken and found in the eye socket.

After radiocarbon dating and analysis, it was determined the individual was a 35-40 year-old male from the early Bronze Age, about 4420-3995 BP (Before Present). [...] phys.org/

More information: A.R. Lieverse, I.V. Pratt, R.J. Schulting, D.M.L. Cooper, V.I. Bazaliiskii, A.W. Weber, "Point taken: An unusual case of incisor agenesis and mandibular trauma in Early Bronze Age Siberia," International Journal of Paleopathology, Volume 6, September 2014, Pages 53-59, ISSN 1879-9817, dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpp.2014.04.004.

Actualización 23-06-14: Un cráneo de la Edad del Bronce en la región de Baikal (Siberia) revela sus secretos 
A diferencia de la mayoría de sociedades de cazadores-recolectores de la Edad del Bronce, los grupos humanos de la región de Baikal, en la Siberia actual (Rusia), mostraban su respeto a los muertos con la construcción de tumbas. Estos lugares de enterramiento resultan muy importantes para la investigación arqueológica, y los restos de un individuo en particular han resultado ser tan peculiares que la bioarqueóloga Angela Lieverse cruzó el mundo para llevarlos hasta el sincrotrón del Canadian Light Source para estudiarlos. “He dirigido investigaciones con el Proyecto Arqueológico Baikal-Hokkaido desde finales de la década de 1990, y este individuo me ha intrigado profundamente”, dice Lieverse, profesora asociada en la Universidad de Saskatchewan. “He sabido de este cráneo desde hace unos 10 años y hay un par de cosas en él que son fascinantes.” La primera, dice, es que este individuo no tiene los dos dientes frontales de la mandíbula inferior...

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