Bone Quiz 15.1

Mystery item

What’s that, you say? An intriguing package wreathed in bubble-wrap? Maybe it’s something exciting, like a scale that can weigh more than 2 kilos at a sitting, or a bowling ball, or a cactus to brighten up my desk, or a parcel of Pop-Tarts that some glorious well-wisher FedExed to the museum for me!

What dreams are made of.
Who am I kidding.

Contents of mystery package
Painstakingly wrapped crania are why I spent ten hours at the museum today. On the one hand, my brain feels like an Alka Seltzer tablet slowly dissolving in a vat of Coke Zero. On the other hand, the last two hours flew by because of what was in the bubble-wrapped package shown above. The skull that this bag contained was particularly intriguing, enough so that I didn’t realize exactly how long I’d spent huddled at my desk, and I found it inspiring enough that I wanted to share it with you. This particular skull and its associated dentition will form the subject of a special two-part bone quiz. This time around, you only have to answer three questions. The first:

1) Human/Non-human?

Kidding, kidding, I’m not that burnt out!

1) Assess the sex of this cranium, providing a brief summary of the observations that justify your estimate;

2) Identify (broadly to category), the bone preserved in the sedimentary pedestal underneath this cranium and

3) Explain why this bone you identified in question 2 might be relevant to my understanding of mortuary practices at this necropolis.

Right Lateral View of Cranium
Craneo 2/167

Close-Up of Refit Mental Eminence
(This is a terrible photo, my apologies)

Mental Eminence

Bone embedded in sedimentary pedestal underneath cranium

(The area to focus on is surrounded by a red pentagon, 3 cm scale).

Mystery Bone

Happy Friday everybody!

And, on a more serious note, somebody please send me some Pop-Tarts. I have less than three weeks of data collection remaining, and I am starting to run on fumes. Dire straits, people.

Image Credits: All images were taken at the Museo de Jaén in summer 2014, except for the photo of Pop-Tarts ,which is taken from Serious Eats, here.

Answers below the jump:

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Answers to Bone Quiz 15.1

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3 Responses to Bone Quiz 15.1

  1. Pingback: Around the Archaeology Blog-o-sphere Digest #4 | Doug's Archaeology

  2. This is an intriguing one!

    1> male (large/long mastoid process/pronounced supraorbital ridge/nuchal crest/ bit of a guess because can’t see anterior full but possibly square orbits/ pronounced mental eminence).
    2> (I am guessing here!) cervical vertebrae which, if it is, probably the atlas/3rd cervical?
    3> evidence of beheading, peri- or postmortem manipulation?

    Like

  3. Pingback: Bone Broke Year in Review | Bone Broke

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