Citation

Material Information

Title:
A Multiple Lucayan Burial from New Providence, Bahamas
Series Title:
Proceedings of the Twelfth Congress of the International Association for Caribbean Archaeology
Creator:
The International Association for Caribbean Archaeology (IACA) ( Sponsor )
John Winter ( Author, Primary )
Place of Publication:
St. Petersburg, Fla.
Publisher:
Cultural Resource Solutions
Copyright Date:
1991
Language:
English
Spanish

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Caribbean Area ( lcsh )
Indians of the West Indies -- Antiquities -- Congresses
West Indies -- Antiquities -- Congresses
Caribbean Area -- Antiquities -- Congresses
Antiquities
Indians of the West Indies -- Antiquities
West Indies.
Genre:
Conference papers and proceedings
Congresses

Notes

General Note:
Title from container insert. "1961 to 2005."
Statement of Responsibility:
Produced for IACA by Cultural Resource Solutions ; [Kelley Scudder, editor ; Daniel Hughes, assistant editor]

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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191827772 ( OCLC )

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A MULTIPL E LUCAYA N BURIA L FRO M NE W PROVIDENCE BAHAMA S Joh n Winte r I n 1492 Christophe r Columbu s describe d th e inhabitant s o f th e Bahama s a s bein g "fairl y tall goo d looking an d wel l made (Moriso n 1942) Ye t som e o f th e Lucayan s ha d "mark s o f wounds o n thei r bodies whic h the y apparentl y receive d defendin g themselve s agains t peopl e fro m othe r near-b y islands Wit h th e recen t interes t i n Bahamia n prehistor y (Hoffma n 1965 ; Keega n 1985 ; Sear s an d Sulliva n 1978 ; Winte r e t al 1985) w e ar e learnin g mor e abou t th e cultura l adaptatio n o f th e Lucayan s t o thei r environmen t an d les s abou t th e biologica l development Wit h s o man y site s bein g recorded wher e ar e al l th e skeleta l remain s o f th e Lucayans ? I n 1982 Willia m Keega n summarize d al l th e know n Lucaya n burial s sinc e Brooks stud y i n 1888 H e reporte d o n 3 3 individual s fro m 1 1 differen t sites Al l th e skeleta l remain s wer e associate d wit h a n apparen t cav e interment an d thi s coul d accoun t fo r th e smal l sampl e size s fo r th e Bahamas I t appear s tha t durin g th e histori c period th e cave s wer e exploite d fo r th e bat guan o tha t accumulate d withi n (Crato n 1986) Th e guan o wa s harveste d an d sol d a s fertilizer Th e autho r spok e wit h severa l olde r Bahamians wh o remembe r havin g gon e int o cave s t o collec t guan o i n thei r youth Whe n the y cam e acros s object s suc h a s bon e o r piece s o f shel l o r wood the y woul d tos s asid e thes e object s o r carr y the m ou t wit h th e guano Therefore i f th e Lucayan s practice d onl y cav e burials the n man y Lucayan s hav e bee n utilize d b y plant s a s nutrients Give n thi s possibili ty i t i s clea r tha t th e stud y o f an y Lucaya n remain s recovered n o matte r ho w fragmentary wil l ad d t o ou r understandin g o f Bahamia n prehistory I n August 1982 th e autho r wa s show n a 2 6 foo t dee p cav e fro m whic h thre e huma n crani a ha d bee n foun d an d removed Initiall y thes e crani a wer e turne d ove r t o th e Bahamia n police wh o realize d tha t the y wer e not moder n an d therefor e the y ha d n o jurisdictio n ove r them I t i s a t thi s poin t tha t th e crani a appea r t o hav e vanished However a t th e botto m o f thi s cave whic h measure d 1 3 fee t acros s b y 6 fee t wide othe r huma n an d fauna l remain s wer e scattere d o n th e surface Becaus e o f th e crampe d workin g conditions th e soi l wa s remove d an d place d i n buckets Th e soi l wa s the n screene d throug h a h inc h wir e mesh t o obtai n bon e fragment s tha t coul d not b e remove d upo n observation Th e excavation s reveale d tha t th e huma n an d fauna l remain s ha d bee n disturbe d i n th e pas t a s n o bone s wer e articu lated Th e huma n an d fauna l remain s wer e recovere d fro m 1 1 inche s o f a brow n soil whic h la y abov e a compac t re d clay Thi s re d cla y wa s no t penetrate d b y th e bone s an d appeare d t o b e a steril e zone a t leas t fo r th e firs t 2 inches Durin g th e excavation i t becam e apparen t tha t mor e tha n thre e indivi dual s wer e interred Therefore al l complet e an d fragmente d bone s wer e 15 3

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15 4 MULTIPL E LUCAYA N BURIA L analyzed wit h proximal distal an d shaf t fragment s bein g isolate d an d the n compare d wit h complet e bone s t o obtai n a minimu m numbe r o f possibl e individuals A n initia l analysi s o f th e paire d an d singl e bone s indicat e tha t a t leas t 8 adult s an d 1 chil d wer e presen t i n th e cave Whe n con siderin g th e contex t i n whic h th e remain s wer e found i t i s difficul t t o determin e whethe r th e decease d wer e place d i n th e cav e on e a t a tim e i n a n uprigh t o r sideway s feta l position lai d ato p on e anothe r a s a mas s burial o r deposite d a s a secondar y burial Th e fauna l remain s wer e foun d t o b e th e vertebra e an d rib s o f a bo a (Epicrates striatus) a humeru s o f a frog mos t likel y th e Cuba n tre e fro g (Osteopilus septentrionales) an d a proxima l en d o f a roden t uln a (probabl y Geocapromys ingrahami). A s thes e appea r t o b e isolate d individuals i t woul d see m tha t the y fel l int o th e cav e rathe r tha n bein g place d there METHOD S I n th e determinatio n o f a n individual' s sex variou s criteri a ar e assessed Th e innominate s ar e th e mos t reliabl e bone s fo r th e determina tio n o f sex wit h a consistenc y o f abou t 95 % (Genov s 1959) Th e reaso n fo r thi s i s th e childbearin g abilitie s o f th e female Th e femal e innomi nat e i s broader th e angl e o f th e sciati c notc h i s wide r (abou t 6 0 degrees) ther e i s a pre-auricula r sulcus th e pubi s i s longer an d th e sub-pubi c angl e wider Th e skul l ca n als o b e a goo d indicato r o f se x wit h a consistenc y o f abou t 90 % (Krogma n 1962) Th e mal e craniu m i s generall y large r an d heavie r tha n th e femal e cranium wit h mor e pronounce d area s fo r muscl e attachment ; likewis e th e mandibl e i s als o mor e robus t wit h a wel l develope d gonia l region Th e lon g bone s o f th e mal e ar e longer heavier an d hav e large r attachmen t area s fo r muscle s tha n d o thei r femal e counter parts A consistenc y o f abou t 80 % mark s thi s tes t (Krogma n 1962) Thes e ar e al l visua l tests Severa l calculate d test s ca n als o b e employe d o n th e bones Her e measurement s ar e take n o n a bon e an d directl y use d o r place d int o a mathematica l formula I t i s importan t t o not e tha t becaus e o f th e rando m variatio n inheren t i n suc h measurements som e bon e wil l b e misclassifie d wit h a positiv e probability Thi s i s du e t o th e fac t tha t no t al l indiv i dual s ar e exactl y alik e an d tha t som e male s ma y b e smalle r an d som e female s large r tha n th e norm Therefore a cut-of f poin t fo r males/female s shoul d b e calculate d a s th e skeleta l biolog y o f eac h grou p differ s somewhat Th e us e o f mid-shaf t circumferenc e ca n produc e a n 85 % measur e o f accurac y (Blac k 1978) Th e us e o f discriminat e functio n analysi s ca n produc e varie d measurement s o f accuracy : 83 % usin g th e talu s (Steel e 1976 ) 79 % usin g th e calcaneu s (Steel e 1976) 75 % usin g th e bas e o f th e craniu m (Hollan d 1986) an d 83 % usin g th e mandibl e (Gile s 1964) Th e ag e o f a n immatur e o r sub-adul t individua l i s mor e accurat e tha n a n adul t a s th e denta l pattern s an d center s o f epiphysea l unio n ar e mor e easil y observe d i n th e former Th e ag e o f a n adul t ca n b e estimate d b y usin g th e pubi c symphysi s o f th e innominat e an d observin g an y degenerativ e change s i n th e bon e i n tha t regio n (Brothwel l 1981)

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WINTE R 15 5 Additiona l dat a tha t ca n b e gathere d fro m individual s ar e concerne d wit h th e modificatio n o f th e teet h an d bones Thi s modificatio n ca n b e th e resul t o f pathologica l condition s o r cultura l practices Th e denta l are a i s examine d fo r periodonta l diseas e b y notin g th e amoun t o f alveola r resorption fo r calciu m an d foo d deposit s (calculus ) o n th e cervica l margin s o f th e teeth fo r th e deca y o f th e teet h (caries) an d fo r th e attritio n o f th e occlusa l surfac e o f th e molars Denta l attritio n ha s bee n relate d t o th e masticator y behavior method s o f foo d preparation an d die t o f individuals A techniqu e t o examin e th e mola r wea r pattern s o f hunters/gatherer s an d agriculturalist s wa s devise d b y B Holl y Smit h (1984) Par t o f th e techniqu e i s base d upo n th e amoun t o f cus p remova l o n th e occlusa l surface A scal e o f 1 t o 8 i s applied : 1 = a complet e cusp an d 8 = onl y dentin Pathologica l condition s ar e th e resul t o f diseas e processe s whic h leav e thei r mar k o n th e bon e (Ortne r an d Putscha r 1981) Thi s give s som e insigh t int o th e healt h condition s o f th e individua l an d th e population Unfor tunately no t al l disease s leav e thei r mark s o n th e bone s o th e knowledg e o f al l component s o f healt h i s incomplete A descriptio n o f th e patholog y rathe r tha n a diagnosi s o f i t wil l b e done a s differen t disease s ca n caus e simila r pattern s o n th e bon e an d th e revers e situatio n i s als o possible TH E SKELETA L MATERIA L A s th e bone s wer e disarticulated n o informatio n ca n b e gaine d abou t a complet e individual Thi s repor t wil l the n asses s th e condition s associ ate d wit h specifi c bones whethe r o r no t an y o f th e bon e condition s relat e t o on e anothe r canno t b e completel y ascertained Th e complet e skul l o f a n adul t female abou t 2 5 year s old exhibite d fronto-occipita l crania l deformation Thi s wa s reconfirme d wit h a measure d crania l inde x o f 92.8 whic h indicate s hyperbrachycran y o r a ver y broa d skull I n addition th e tota l facia l inde x wa s 82.8 whic h indicate s a broa d fac e o r euryprosopy Columbu s report s thes e trait s a s bein g charac teristi c o f th e Lucaya n Indian s (Moriso n 1942 ) Th e skul l als o ha s tw o wormia n bone s alon g th e lambdoida l sutur e an d complet e closur e o f th e supra-orbita l foramen ; bot h o f thes e ar e non-metri c o r discontinuou s traits Ther e i s a depressio n i n th e oute r surfac e o f th e occipita l bone perhap s a traumati c conditio n (Fig 1) Post-morte m los s o f al l th e incisor s an d canine s wa s observed a s wel l a s alveola r resorptio n o f th e secon d lef t maxillar y premola r an d molars th e righ t maxillar y premolar s an d molars th e secon d lef t mandibula r premola r an d molars an d th e secon d an d thir d righ t mandibula r molars Th e firs t righ t mandibula r mola r ha s a wea r patter n o f 3 A n adul t mal e fronta l bon e wit h fronta l flattenin g ha s tw o osteomyeli ti c lesion s insid e th e crania l vault Ther e i s als o complet e closur e o f th e supra-orbita l foramen A differen t adul t reveal s osteoporosi s pittin g i n a pai r o f righ t an d lef t parietal s nea r th e coronal/sagitta l sutur e an d i n th e occipita l bone

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15 6 MULTIPL E LUCAYA N BURIA L A n almos t complet e child' s mandibl e reveal s th e eruptio n o f th e first permanen t molars indicatin g deat h a t aroun d 6 year s o f age A lef t portio n o f a n adul t femal e mandibl e ha s a larg e bucca l carie s a t th e nec k lin e o f th e firs t mola r (Fig 2) Ther e i s sligh t occlusa l attrition 3 o n th e Smit h scale o n th e firs t an d secon d molar. Thi s individua l appear s t o hav e lacke d a thir d molar a non-metri c o r discontinuou s trait Ther e i s a lef t portio n o f a n adul t mal e mandibl e wit h onl y th e firs t an d secon d mola r remaining ; th e othe r teet h wer e los t post-mortem Thes e molar s exhibi t a sligh t calculu s deposi t a t th e nec k line ; however ther e i s a n alveola r absces s belo w th e molar. A n adul t lef t maxillar y bone whic h ha s onl y th e secon d premola r an d firs t mola r intac t an d th e othe r teet h los t post-mortem ha s a n absces s betwee n th e are a o f th e secon d inciso r an d canine Th e amoun t o f denta l wea r fo r thes e teet h i s a 3 A complet e pai r o f adul t maxillar y bone s hav e alveola r resorptio n o f al l th e premolar s an d molars an d a n absces s i n th e palat e nea r th e lef t canin e (Fig 3) Th e righ t canin e o f thi s individua l i s wor n t o th e dentin a n 8 o n th e Smit h scale A lef t adul t mal e innominat e ha s osteomyeliti c lesion s i n th e posterio r surfac e behin d th e acetabulum whil e a n adul t femal e sacru m reveal s righ t t o lef t curvatur e fro m th e superio r t o inferio r surfac e wit h incomplet e fusio n o f th e firs t an d secon d sacra l vertebra e (Fig 4) Thi s latte r conditio n ma y b e th e resul t o f a trauma A singl e lumba r vertebra fro m a middle-age d adult ha s osteoarthriti c perforation s i n th e inferio r an d superio r articula r facets A righ t adul t uln a reveal s a wea r patter n i n th e trochle a notc h area whil e a lef t proxima l adul t uln a ha s smal l striation s i n th e anterio r shaf t region A lef t adul t radiu s reveal s a n inflammatio n o f th e radia l tubero sity perhap s th e resul t o f trauma Th e dista l portio n o f a n adul t lef t humeru s ha s a n olecrano n perforation a non-metri c o r discontinuou s trait A n oval-shape d lesio n i s foun d i n th e spinou s proces s o f a n adul t lef t scapula Usin g Steele' s (1976 ) metho d fo r th e se x determinatio n o f th e calcaneu s an d talus a lef t calcaneu s produce d a valu e o f 38.16 whil e a righ t talu s yielde d a valu e o f 41.80 Thes e value s woul d ten d t o indicat e tha t th e bone s belonge d t o a n adul t mal e o r males Examinatio n o f th e post-morte m teet h revea l a variet y o f denta l conditions Denta l attrition fo r th e adul t teeth range s fro m 2 t o 8 o n th e Smit h scale wit h uppe r incisor s averagin g 4 lowe r incisor s averagin g 4.1 canine s averagin g 4 uppe r premolar s averagin g 4.7 lowe r premolar s averagin g 2.6 th e uppe r molar s averagin g 2.3 an d th e lowe r molar s averagin g 4.7 Th e lac k o f extrem e occlusa l wea r coul d indicat e tha t a non-abrasiv e o r a diversifie d die t wa s consume d b y thes e people Ther e i s als o a n eruptin g thir d lowe r mola r wit h n o wea r indicatin g tha t a youn g adul t wa s interre d i n th e cave Ther e i s a brownis h stai n o n th e crow n surface s o f al l th e adul t molar s an d a righ t uppe r incisor Thi s coul d b e th e resul t o f smokin g o r chewin g tobacco a plan t whic h Columbu s describe d i n 149 2 (Moriso n 1942 ) Denta l hypoplasi a i s observe d i n a lef t uppe r canin e an d incisor perhap s fro m th e sam e individual Denta l hypoplasi a

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WINTE R 15 7 appear s t o resul t fro m fault y structura l formatio n cause d b y eithe r diseas e o r metaboli c disorder Al l th e uppe r incisor s revea l shovel-shaping a trai t characteristi c o f Amerindia n populations A lef t maxillar y premola r an d a righ t maxillar y inciso r exhibi t extrem e lingua l slopin g wear perhap s th e resul t o f processin g cordage Ther e ar e tw o maxillar y molars eac h wit h a singl e occlusa l carie s a s wel l a s fuse d roots perhap s th e sam e individual Thi s coul d b e th e resul t o f a geneti c conditio n o r disease Severa l teet h woul d appea r t o b e associate d wit h th e previousl y mentione d child' s mandible Ther e ar e tw o uppe r an d lowe r deciduou s canines a n uppe r an d lowe r deciduou s premolar an d a n unerupte d uppe r permanen t inciso r wit h shovel-shaping Ther e i s sligh t attritio n o n th e deciduou s teeth a 1 o n th e Smit h scale CONCLUSION S Fro m thi s smal l populatio n o f Ne w Providenc e Lucayans ther e i s som e for m o f periodonta l diseas e i n al l th e adul t mandible s an d maxilla. Thi s ca n b e brough t abou t b y a variet y o f factors : unclea n mouth irritatio n fro m calculu s deposits o r a fault y diet A s ther e ar e n o significan t calculu s deposit s o r carie s o n th e remainin g teeth i t coul d b e possibl e tha t th e alveola r resorptio n wa s th e resul t o f metaboli c problem s o r diet Ther e ar e severa l case s o f abscesse s withi n th e mout h regio n whic h coul d indicat e a possibl e interna l diseas e problem Th e occurrenc e o f osteo myeliti c lesion s i n th e crania l an d post-crania l skeleto n woul d poin t toward s a bacteria l o r vira l problem Althoug h Columbu s describe s th e Lucayan s a s apparentl y 'wel l made externally thi s Ne w Providenc e populatio n appear s t o hav e ha d numerou s interna l problems However th e skeleton s fro m thi s buria l cav e coul d len d suppor t t o Columbus diar y i n tha t the y ha d broa d head s an d ma y hav e use d tobacc o (Moriso n 1942) I f a mor e complet e pictur e i s t o b e establishe d regardin g th e biologica l condition s o f th e prehistori c Lucayans the n a large r skeleta l populatio n an d radiocarbo n datin g wil l b e necessary ACKNOWLEDGMENT S I woul d lik e t o than k Do n an d Kath y Gerac e o f th e CCF L Bahamia n Fiel d Station Sa n Salvador Bahama s fo r thei r assistanc e i n obtainin g permissio n t o stud y th e skeleton s an d fo r logistica l support I woul d als o than k Pericle s an d Christin a Mailli s o f Ne w Providence Bahama s fo r thei r assistanc e i n providin g th e contact s i n Nassau an d t o Gai l Saunder s o f th e Bahama s Government' s Archive s Divisio n fo r loanin g th e material I woul d lik e t o than k th e member s o f th e Bahama s Archaeologica l Team th e Bahama s Historica l Society an d th e Bahama s Nationa l Trus t fo r thei r hel p i n recoverin g th e skeletons Lastly I woul d lik e t o than k Dr Storr s Olso n o f th e Nationa l Museu m o f Natura l History-Smithsonia n Institutio n fo r hi s analysi s o f th e fauna l remains

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15 8 MULTIPL E LUCAYA N BURIA L REFERENCE S CITE D Black Thoma s 197 8 A Ne w Metho d fo r Assessin g th e Se x o f Fragmentar y Skeleta l Remains : Femora l Shaf t Circumference America n Journa l o f Physica l Anthropolog y 48:227-231 Brooks W.K 188 8 O n th e Lucaya n Islands Memoir s o f th e Nationa l Academ y o f Scienc e 4(2) : 215-223 Brothwell D.R 198 1 Diggin g u p Bones Ithaca Ne w York : Cornel l Universit y Press Craton Michae l 198 6 A Histor y o f th e Bahamas Waterloo Ontario : Sa n Salvado r Press Genovs Santiag o C 195 9 Diferencia s Sexuale s e n e l Hues o Coxal Mexico D.F. : Institut o d e Historia Giles Eugen e 196 4 Se x Determinatio n b y Discriminan t Functio n Analysi s o f th e Mandible America n Journa l o f Physica l Anthropolog y 22:129 136 Hoffman Charle s 196 7 Baham a Prehistory : Cultura l Adaptatio n t o a n Islan d Environ ment Ph.D dissertation Universit y o f Arizona An n Arbor Michigan : Universit y Microfilm s 68-1018 Holland Thoma s 198 6 Se x Determinatio n o f Fragmentar y Crani a b y Analysi s o f th e Crania l Base America n Journa l o f Physica l Anthropolog y 70 : 203-208 Keegan Willia m F 198 2 Lucaya n Cav e Burial s fro m th e Bahamas Journa l o f Ne w Worl d Archaeolog y 5:57-65 198 5 Dynami c Horticulturalist s : Populatio n Expansio n i n th e Prehistori c Bahamas Ph.D dissertation Universit y o f California Lo s Angeles An n Arbor Michigan : Universit y Microfilm s 85-19111 Krogman Wilto n 196 2 Th e Huma n Skeleto n i n Forensi c Medicine Springfield Illinois : Charle s C Thomas Morison Samue l E 194 2 Admira l o f th e Ocea n Sea Boston : Little Brow n Co

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WINTE R 15 9 Ortner D.J an d W.G.J Putscha r 198 1 Identificatio n o f Pathologica l Condition s i n Huma n Skeleta l Remains Washington D.C. : Smithsonia n Institutio n Press Sears Willia m an d Shau n Sulliva n 197 8 Bahama s Prehistory America n Antiquit y 43:3-25 Smith B Holl y 198 4 Pattern s o f Mola r Wea r i n Hunter-Gatherer s an d Agricul turalists America n Journa l o f Physica l Anthropolog y 63 : 39-56 Steele D.G 197 6 Th e Estimatio n o f Se x o n th e Basi s o f th e Talu s an d Cal caneu s America n Journa l o f Physica l Anthropolog y 4 5 : 581-588 Winter John 198 5 Julia n Granberr y an d Ar t Liebol d Archaeologica l Investigation s withi n th e Bahamas Pro ceeding s o f th e Tent h Internationa l Congres s fo r th e Stud y o f Pre-Columbia n Culture s o f th e Lesse r Antille s (Martiniqu e 1983) pp 83-92

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16 0 MULTIPL E LUCAYA N BURIA L / r f '" 2¡ j| F .. ) 1 vi| S 1 s / S V ¡f t d • • v K • / v • ite*~ > PP ^ i Figur e 1 Femal e skul l wit h depresse d occipita l region Figur e 2 Bucca l carie s o n firs t mandibula r molar

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WINTE R 16 1 Figur e 3 Absces s i n maxillar y palate Figur e 4 Curvatur e o f a femal e sacrum

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16 2