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


Reading between the vertebrae – the presence of a non-embedded projectile point and subsequent consequences: a case study

DAVE GRANT, DIANE DI GIUSEPPE, ALAN LEVENTHAL and ROSEMARY CAMBRA.

Environmental Studies, San Jose State University

Saturday Afternoon, Council Suite Add to calendar

Examination of the skeletal remains of an individual from the third Mission Santa Clara Indian Neophyte Cemetery – 1781-1818, CA-SCL-30H, provides a compelling case study. This individual had a unique bony response to an obsidian projectile point lodged in the intervertebral space between the twelfth thoracic and first lumbar vertebrae. An unusual bony ring formed that isolated the projectile point. As a result, several other elements displayed secondary trauma that led to possible disturbances of gait and asymmetric skeletal element responses. The formation of the bony ring stabilized the projectile point allowing for the individual to survive and continue functioning within the Mission population. The presence of the bony ring with projectile point, argues for the inclusion of documenting soft tissue injuries as interpersonal aggression even when the point is not embedded in bone.

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