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Keywords:

  • scalping;
  • warfare;
  • secondary burial;
  • electron microscopy;
  • protohistoric;
  • Mississippi

Abstract

Analysis of a bundle burial of a young male recovered from 22OK905, a late prehistoric/protohistoric site located near Starkville, Mississippi, is discussed. AMS dating of the burial places it between AD 1640 and AD 1814, a time when Native American and European conflicts are well documented. One interesting finding is the presence of cut marks on the frontal bone of this individual. These marks were determined to be the result of scalping rather than defleshing marks associated with secondary burial treatment. Comparisons of bone element frequency among several bundle burials suggest that this individual died away from his village and the body was later collected for burial. A second study indicates that a stone tool may have been used to scalp the victim. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.