Posts Tagged With: bodies

The Windover Bog Bodies…Florida



The scientific world was rocked in 1982 when a construction crew working near Titusville stumbled upon an archaeological site like no other! Amazing Florida prehistory!

“Windover Bog Bodies, Among the Greatest Archeological Discoveries Ever Unearthed in the United States.

It was only after the bones were declared very old and not the product of a mass murder that the 167 bodies found in a pond in Windover, Florida began to stir up excitement in the archeological world. Researchers from Florida State University came to the site, thinking some more Native American bones had been unearthed in the swamplands. They were guessing the bones were 500-600 years old. But then the bones were radiocarbon dated. It turns out the corpses ranged from 6,990 to 8,120 years old. It was then that the academic community became incredibly excited. The Windover Bog has proven to be one of the most important archeological finds in the United States.

In 1982, Steve Vanderjagt, the man who made the find, was using a backhoe to demuck the pond for the development of a new subdivision located about halfway between Disney World and Cape Canaveral. Vanderjagt was confused by the large number of rocks in the pond as that area of Florida was not known to be particularly rocky. Getting out of his backhoe, Vanderjagt went to investigate and almost immediately realized that he had unearthed a huge pile of bones. He called the authorities right away. It was only thanks to his natural curiosity that the site was preserved. After the medical examiners declared them ancient, the specialists from Florida State University were summoned (another brilliant move by Vanderjagt- too often sites are ruined because experts are not called). Deeply intrigued, EKS Corporation, the developers of the site, financed the radiocarbon dating. Once the striking dates were revealed, the State of Florida providing a grant for the excavation.

Unlike the human remains found in European bogs, the Florida bodies are only skeletons – no flesh remains on the bones. But this does not negate their significance. Nearly half of the skulls contained brain matter. The majority of the skeletons were found lying on their left sides with their heads pointing westward, perhaps toward the setting sun, and their faces pointing to the north. Most had their legs tucked up, as in the fetal position, however three were lying straight. Interestingly, each corpse had a stake thrust through the loose fabric that enshrouded them, presumably to prevent them from floating to the surface of the water as decomposition filled them with air. This practical step was what ultimately protected the bodies from scavengers (animals and grave robbers) and kept them in their intended positions.

The find provides unparalleled insight into a hunter-gather community that existed 3,500 years before the Pyramids were built in Egypt. The skeletons and the artifacts found with them have been studied almost continuously in the decades since their discovery. The research paints a picture of a hard but good life in pre-Columbian Florida. Though living mainly off what they could hunt and gather, the community was sedentary, indicating that whatever hardships they may have faced were small compared with the benefits of the area they chose to settle in.

Theirs was an incredibly caring society. Children’s bodies were almost all found to have small toys in their arms. One older woman, perhaps 50, showed signs of having several broken bones. The fractures occurred several years before her death, meaning that despite her handicap the other villagers cared for her and helped her even when she could no longer contribute significantly to the workload. Another body, that of a 15-year-old boy, showed that he was a victim of spina bifida, a crippling birth defect where the vertebrae do not grow together properly around the spinal cord. Despite his many deformed bones, evidence suggests he was loved and cared for throughout his life. These discoveries are mind boggling when one considers how many ancient (and even a few modern) societies abandon the weak and deformed.

Contents found within the corpses’ as well as other organic remains found in the bog reveal an ecosystem rich in diversity. 30 species of edible and/or medicinal plants were identified by paleobotanists; berries and small fruits were particularly important to the community’s diet. One woman, perhaps 35 years old, was found with a concoction of elderberry, nightshade, and holly in the area where her stomach would have been, suggesting that she was eating medicinal herbs to try and combat an illness. Unfortunately, the combination did not work and whatever afflicted the woman ultimately took her life. Interestingly, the elderberry woman was one of the few bodies stretched out, as opposed to curled up, with her face pointing downward. In other Native American traditions, elderberries were used to fight viral infections

Another striking difference between the Windover bog people and their European counterparts is that none of the Floridians suffered violent deaths. The bodies include men, women, and children. Roughly half of the bodies were younger than 20 years old when they died but some were well over 70 years old. This was fairly good mortality rate for the place and time. The presence of brain matter in 91 of the bodies suggests that they were buried quickly, within 48 hours of death. Scientists know this because, given the hot humid climate of Florida, brains would have liquefied in bodies not buried quickly.

Somewhat amazingly, DNA analysis of the remains show that these bodies share no biological affiliation with the more modern Native American groups known to have lived in the area. Recognizing the limitations of modern technology, about half of the Windover site was left intact, as a protected National Historic Landmark, so that in 50 or 100 years’ researchers could return to the bog and excavate untouched remains” (Article by Kerry Sullivan in a publication called Ancient Origins))

Categories: Archaeology, Florida, Legends, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

1874…Wrapped Bodies…Indian Burial Ground

1874..wrapped bodies, Indian burial ground

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England…Jersey minister proposes freeze drying dead bodies……

A scheme to allow Jersey people to have their bodies freeze dried upon death has been proposed by the island’s environment minister.

Deputy Rob Duhamel said the initiative would be more environmentally friendly than cremation or burial.

The process involves freezing a corpse with liquid nitrogen, then vibrating it to reduce the body to powder.

Deputy Duhamel said he would ask the States to legalise the scheme, which would allow for burial in woodland.

He believes that this would be possible, as the powdered body would eventually turn to soil.

“I think it’s absolutely fantastic and represents the best way out of all the methods of being buried,” he said.

“A lot more people are wanting a woodland burial as opposed to a cemetery.”

Woodland burials are currently not allowed in Jersey, due to fears of contamination from metal contained in people’s bodies.

Mr Duhamel said that any metal would be removed at the end of the process.

Freezing would also stop any emissions of noxious fumes in cremation.

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Nottingham, England…..Ancient remains of two bodies found ‘were related’

HUMAN remains found on the A453 of bodies dating up to three hundred years apart are thought by archaeologists to have been related.

Evidence of two bodies was uncovered this week during an archaeological excavation as part of preparatory work for the new dual carriageway.
The one hectare site, set back from the existing road near Clifton, is thought to be a late Iron Age/Early Roman settlement. It is said to have been a farmstead which lasted more than 2,000 years and was home to several generations of ordinary Romano-British people.

A ten-strong team of Archaeologists, working eight hour days for the last five weeks, this week found a skull, with the teeth still embedded, and upper arm of one body and the part of a leg of another.

One of the bodies was found in a crouched position and the gender is not yet known, although the brow ridge was heavy, indicating it might have been a man. The other was discovered in a horizontal position, indicating a later burial of up to three hundred years, and thought to be female. Both have been removed from site under licence and are now being examined more closely by specialists.

Archaeologist and team leader Andy Norton said: “The find builds up our picture of the Roman landscape of Nottinghamshire. Not far away at Redhill there was a Roman villa and a temple and within the grounds there would have been various farmsteads and it looks like this was one of them.

“Living here would have been a relatively normal family group, husband and wife with the next generation of offspring living here over several hundred years and the two bodies we found would no doubt have been related over the years.”

On the site there is also remains of a Roman wall and evidence of what might have been a two storey property, probably up to 10 metres by 15 metres – two storey due to its deep foundations. Bits of pottery including Roman Greyware, Oxford Ware and Saimain – a high quality Roman ceramic – with a lion etched on the side, indicates the reasonably high social status of the family.

A jet bracelet was also found at the site, together with animal remains.

Assistant Archaeologist Dane Wright found one of the bodies, thought to be female, in a crouched position.

He said: “The crouched position is indicative of a pre-historic burial and could be early Roman. Some people say the position of the body was because they are placed again in the foetal position, so they are returning to how they once were.

“Some say it was because it was thought they would just be going to sleep so it was a comfort thing.

“I can’t really describe how I felt finding the body but it is strange to discover a person who actually lived up to 2,500 years ago and how we have developed as a civilisation.”

The dig, which ends mid next week, is being carried out alongside other advance work for the widening scheme.

Highways Agency Senior Project Manager Iftikhar Mir said the find would not delay the two and a half year project and it was still due for completion in July 2015.

He added: “The find is interesting but the archaeological work was part of our advanced work and the fact that we have found what we have does not delay the work in any way.

“While widening the existing A453 is all about planning for the future, it’s important that we also consider the past which is why archaeological work is an integral part of what we do at the Highways Agency.

“It is important that the area’s history is recorded and preserved to help form future generations.”

Once investigations are complete the bones will be donated to a local museum or reburied.

The A453 improvement will widen a seven mile stretch of the busy A453 between junction 24 of the M1 and the A52 Nottingham Ring Road. The Highways Agency says “road users will benefit from reduced congestion, faster, more reliable journeys and improved safety on the route.”

Categories: Lost Treasure, Strange News | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil War….Bloody Antietam: 150 Years Ago Today

Sept. 17, 2012 –Today marks the 150th anniversary of the bloodiest single day in American history – the battle of Antietam near Sharpsburg, Md., that killed 23,000 Union and Confederate soldiers.

Bodies were stacked three and four deep, according to James I. Robertson, Jr., professor emeritus of history at Virginia Tech. The reason: a small battlefield and stubborn generals who knew the outcome of the Civil War was at stake. General Robert E. Lee was invading North, while Gen. George B. McLellan was trying to halt Lee’s successes.

“It was a key turning point,” Robertson said. “It took the military momentum out of the South.”

A week after the battle, President Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves throughout the United States.

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