Limits...
The Oldest Case of Decapitation in the New World (Lapa do Santo, East-Central Brazil).

Strauss A, Oliveira RE, Bernardo DV, Salazar-García DC, Talamo S, Jaouen K, Hubbe M, Black S, Wilkinson C, Richards MP, Araujo AG, Kipnis R, Neves WA - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: The right hand was amputated and laid over the left side of the face with distal phalanges pointing to the chin and the left hand was amputated and laid over the right side of the face with distal phalanges pointing to the forehead.Strontium analysis comparing Burial 26's isotopic signature to other specimens from Lapa do Santo suggests this was a local member of the group.In the apparent absence of wealth goods or elaborated architecture, Lapa do Santo's inhabitants seemed to use the human body to express their cosmological principles regarding death.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany.

ABSTRACT
We present here evidence for an early Holocene case of decapitation in the New World (Burial 26), found in the rock shelter of Lapa do Santo in 2007. Lapa do Santo is an archaeological site located in the Lagoa Santa karst in east-central Brazil with evidence of human occupation dating as far back as 11.7-12.7 cal kyBP (95.4% interval). An ultra-filtered AMS age determination on a fragment of the sphenoid provided an age range of 9.1-9.4 cal kyBP (95.4% interval) for Burial 26. The interment was composed of an articulated cranium, mandible and first six cervical vertebrae. Cut marks with a v-shaped profile were observed in the mandible and sixth cervical vertebra. The right hand was amputated and laid over the left side of the face with distal phalanges pointing to the chin and the left hand was amputated and laid over the right side of the face with distal phalanges pointing to the forehead. Strontium analysis comparing Burial 26's isotopic signature to other specimens from Lapa do Santo suggests this was a local member of the group. Therefore, we suggest a ritualized decapitation instead of trophy-taking, testifying for the sophistication of mortuary rituals among hunter-gatherers in the Americas during the early Archaic period. In the apparent absence of wealth goods or elaborated architecture, Lapa do Santo's inhabitants seemed to use the human body to express their cosmological principles regarding death.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Distal extremity of the right radius.The red arrow points to the hack mark.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4580647&req=5

pone.0137456.g012: Distal extremity of the right radius.The red arrow points to the hack mark.

Mentions: In the vertebrae, cut marks were observed at the right column of the articular processes of C6, where the zygopophysial joint capsule would be located (Fig 11). Concerning the hands, the distal segment of the right radius was clearly sectioned in a plane perpendicular to the long axis of the bone, as is made evident by a hack mark near the cut surface (Fig 12). These marks indicate that an implement was used to separate the hands forcibly from the arms. No cut marks were observed on the bones of the left hand, although the left radius and ulna were not recovered during the excavation.


The Oldest Case of Decapitation in the New World (Lapa do Santo, East-Central Brazil).

Strauss A, Oliveira RE, Bernardo DV, Salazar-García DC, Talamo S, Jaouen K, Hubbe M, Black S, Wilkinson C, Richards MP, Araujo AG, Kipnis R, Neves WA - PLoS ONE (2015)

Distal extremity of the right radius.The red arrow points to the hack mark.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4580647&req=5

pone.0137456.g012: Distal extremity of the right radius.The red arrow points to the hack mark.
Mentions: In the vertebrae, cut marks were observed at the right column of the articular processes of C6, where the zygopophysial joint capsule would be located (Fig 11). Concerning the hands, the distal segment of the right radius was clearly sectioned in a plane perpendicular to the long axis of the bone, as is made evident by a hack mark near the cut surface (Fig 12). These marks indicate that an implement was used to separate the hands forcibly from the arms. No cut marks were observed on the bones of the left hand, although the left radius and ulna were not recovered during the excavation.

Bottom Line: The right hand was amputated and laid over the left side of the face with distal phalanges pointing to the chin and the left hand was amputated and laid over the right side of the face with distal phalanges pointing to the forehead.Strontium analysis comparing Burial 26's isotopic signature to other specimens from Lapa do Santo suggests this was a local member of the group.In the apparent absence of wealth goods or elaborated architecture, Lapa do Santo's inhabitants seemed to use the human body to express their cosmological principles regarding death.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany.

ABSTRACT
We present here evidence for an early Holocene case of decapitation in the New World (Burial 26), found in the rock shelter of Lapa do Santo in 2007. Lapa do Santo is an archaeological site located in the Lagoa Santa karst in east-central Brazil with evidence of human occupation dating as far back as 11.7-12.7 cal kyBP (95.4% interval). An ultra-filtered AMS age determination on a fragment of the sphenoid provided an age range of 9.1-9.4 cal kyBP (95.4% interval) for Burial 26. The interment was composed of an articulated cranium, mandible and first six cervical vertebrae. Cut marks with a v-shaped profile were observed in the mandible and sixth cervical vertebra. The right hand was amputated and laid over the left side of the face with distal phalanges pointing to the chin and the left hand was amputated and laid over the right side of the face with distal phalanges pointing to the forehead. Strontium analysis comparing Burial 26's isotopic signature to other specimens from Lapa do Santo suggests this was a local member of the group. Therefore, we suggest a ritualized decapitation instead of trophy-taking, testifying for the sophistication of mortuary rituals among hunter-gatherers in the Americas during the early Archaic period. In the apparent absence of wealth goods or elaborated architecture, Lapa do Santo's inhabitants seemed to use the human body to express their cosmological principles regarding death.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus