The 81st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2012)


*PRESENTATION WITHDRAWN* Unlocking the past: bioarchaeology and the history of Denver's Cheesman Park

ANJANETTE M. KALB and CATHERINE M. GAITHER.

Anthropology, Sociology, and Behavioral Science, Metropolitan State College of Denver

Thursday All day, Plaza Level Add to calendar

In 2010 and 2011, construction activities in Denver’s Cheesman Park unearthed human remains, all of which were archaeological in context. Between 1860 and 1897, the land was known as Mt. Prospect Cemetery, and a reported 2000-4000 individuals were buried there. Because there were rumors the cemetery had been built upon a Native American burial ground, the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner requested that the Metropolitan State College of Denver Human Identification Laboratory directed by Dr. Catherine Gaither, complete an osteological analysis to attempt a determination of ancestry. Analysis revealed there were no Native American remains; however, there were a number of interesting finds that supported what was known historically about the period. One set of remains, case number MSCD-HIL-11-03-03, presented with evidence of tuberculosis. Specifically, periostitis on the pulmonary surface of several ribs was recorded. This is significant because a sanatorium for patients with tuberculosis was located in Denver, and it is reasonable to presume that some patients may have been buried in the potters field of the Mt. Prospect Cemetery. This poster will present the results of the bioarchaeological and historical analyses completed on this case, and these results will be discussed within the context of the history of the site. Additionally, this poster will show how interagency cooperation and multidisciplinary methods can be effective tools in the urban setting, and can provide students with the opportunity to gain valuable practical experience.

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