The authors describe the discovery of the remains of two unidentified skeletonised individuals in a small town located in southern Italy. The bodies were discovered while workers were preparing to lay an oil pipeline. The two individuals were found at a depth of 2 meters, and in very close proximity to one other. The recovery process of the skeletonised remains and their related findings, carried out by a team of forensic anthropologists and archaeologists, is described here. Archaeological examination determined that the remains date back to the 4th millennium B.C. Forensic anthropological and odontological examinations were performed to determine the biological profile of the skeletal remains by estimation of age and height, as well as the determination of sex. Age determination was performed by the Kerley and Ubelaker (1978, Revision in the microscopic method of estimating age at death in human cortical bone. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol., 49, 545–546) histological method using a 1 mm thick piece of bone tissue taken from the diaphyses of femur in both individuals. Dental age was estimated by examining root transparency. In order to determine the height of the individuals, various research methods based on the dimensional values of particular skeletal structures were applied. DNA analysis showed genotype differences of all the systems as compared to the haplotypes of present day subjects. This provided confirmation that the skeletal remains were from individuals of an ancient population (4th millennium B.C.). In addition, radiocarbon dating provided useful information as to the approximate period of death of the individuals. Interpretation was further enhanced by analysis of various bone fragments from each of the skeletons by high resolution mass spectrometry. 3D computerized imaging was used to analyse the patterns of skull fractures present, which resulted in supporting the hypothesis that the fractures were caused by stoning.

Analysis of Neolithic human remains discovered in southern Italy

DE DONNO, ANTONIO;SANTORO, VALERIA;INTRONA, Francesco
2010

Abstract

The authors describe the discovery of the remains of two unidentified skeletonised individuals in a small town located in southern Italy. The bodies were discovered while workers were preparing to lay an oil pipeline. The two individuals were found at a depth of 2 meters, and in very close proximity to one other. The recovery process of the skeletonised remains and their related findings, carried out by a team of forensic anthropologists and archaeologists, is described here. Archaeological examination determined that the remains date back to the 4th millennium B.C. Forensic anthropological and odontological examinations were performed to determine the biological profile of the skeletal remains by estimation of age and height, as well as the determination of sex. Age determination was performed by the Kerley and Ubelaker (1978, Revision in the microscopic method of estimating age at death in human cortical bone. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol., 49, 545–546) histological method using a 1 mm thick piece of bone tissue taken from the diaphyses of femur in both individuals. Dental age was estimated by examining root transparency. In order to determine the height of the individuals, various research methods based on the dimensional values of particular skeletal structures were applied. DNA analysis showed genotype differences of all the systems as compared to the haplotypes of present day subjects. This provided confirmation that the skeletal remains were from individuals of an ancient population (4th millennium B.C.). In addition, radiocarbon dating provided useful information as to the approximate period of death of the individuals. Interpretation was further enhanced by analysis of various bone fragments from each of the skeletons by high resolution mass spectrometry. 3D computerized imaging was used to analyse the patterns of skull fractures present, which resulted in supporting the hypothesis that the fractures were caused by stoning.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/82743
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