In a marked cemetery northwest of Lake Baikal, a skeleton was found, buried ceremoniously with a nephrite disk and four arrowheads, one of which was broken and found in the eye socket. An arrow in the eye? That's no accident.
After radiocarbon dating and analysis, it was determined the individual was a 35-40 year-old male from the early Bronze Age, between 2406 and 1981 B.C.
Unlike most hunter-gatherer societies of the Bronze Age, the people of the Baikal region of modern Siberia (Russia) respected their dead with formal graves. This particular specimen was so unique that bioarchaeologist Angela Lieverse traveled across the world just to bring it back to the Canadian Light Source synchrotron for examination.
Segmented tip digitally merged with photograph of the broken projectile point recovered from the left orbit; (A) ventral surface; (B) dorsal surface.
Source: Canadian Light Source, on Flickr.
“I’ve conducted research with the Baikal-Hokkaido Archaeology Project since the late 90s, and this specimen really intrigued me,” said Lieverse, associate professor at the University of Saskatchewan. “I’ve known about this skull for about 10 years and there are a couple things about it that are fascinating.”
The first, she said, is that this individual is missing the two front teeth on the lower jaw. And the second is that there is an obvious stone projectile tip embedded in the exact same spot of the mandible where the two incisors should be.
“We knew there was a projectile, we could see it, but we didn’t know if it occurred years before the individual died or if it happened around the same time as his death,” she added. “I suspected it happened earlier and had something to do with the very unusual missing teeth.”
Burial 48 skull and grave goods in situ in the grave pit. Note the broken projectile point lying flat on the floor of the left orbit, with its base oriented more or less anteriorly and its (broken) tip oriented more or less posteriorly, or into the eye. Source: Canadian Light Source, on Flickr.
Citation: A.R. Lieverse, I.V. Pratt, R.J. Schulting, D.M.L. Cooper, V.I. Bazaliiskii, A.W. Weber, Point taken: An unusual case of incisor agenesis and mandibular trauma in Early Bronze Age Siberia,International Journal of Paleopathology Volume 6, September 2014, Pages 53–59. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpp.2014.04.004. Source: University of Saskatchewan
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Part I: Bee Deaths Mystery Solved? Neonicotinoids (Neonics) May Actually Help Bee Health
- On integrating out short-distance physics
- Is The Micropower Revolution Here?
- Big Data Could Be A Big Problem For Workplace Discrimination Law
- Violence, Sex And Taboo: The Original Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales Back In Print
- Like Collaboration And Intelligence In Humans? Thank War
- Chronic Pain Isn't All In The Brain
- "I think they have all been corrected by now - in the next blog post there is a link to the updated..."
- "There are fews other typographical details (as the title 3.2 vs 3.3 : 5-sigma vs 5$\sigma$)...I..."
- "Yes, I agree Luigi - it was a typo, I replaced f(x)dx with f(t)dt in eq. 1Cheers,T...."
- "nice visit http://www.clubsideeffects.com..."
- "Chimpanzees go to war with each other and yet they did not evolve into a similarly intelligent..."
- Study reveals significantly increased risk of stillbirth in males
- Moderate coffee consumption may lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease by up to 20 percent
- New research supporting stroke rehabilitation
- The artificial pancreas shown to improve the treatment of type 1 diabetes
- The Lancet: Leading medical experts call for an end to UK postcode lottery for liver disease treatment and detection