To date, over 15,000 bones and
fragments have been exhumed from repository 6 in the St. Stephen's
complex. This repository was the primary place of burial
for the human remains, given the degree of preservation and large number
of small, friable bone elements found in situ. Very delicate fragments
were exhumed, including the hyoid, sesimoid bones, distal phalanges, calcified
thyroid cartilage, and even ear ossicles (see
If these bones were subsequently moved to the repository for secondary
burial, such delicate items would have quite likely been lost or destroyed
in transport. It is highly probable given the large number of such
bones, that the remains were only shifted from the burial
bench above to the repository below.
The remains in repository 6
represent at least 109 adults and 58 children. Table 1 compares each
skeletal element used for a calculation of the minimum number of individuals
in the adult collection. The subadult
sample is quite large, and intensive analysis of this segment of the
community is still in progress. Thus, discussion will deal
only with the adult remains.
bonewas selected from the skull because the petrous portion
of the bone tends to preserve well in the depositional context. Seventy-seven
right and 76 left temporal portions were found in this collection.
For the upper limb, the humerus,
radius and ulna were included in the MNI calculation. Thirty-five
left and 38 right proximal humerii segments were counted, while 93 left
and 72 right distal portions were found. Given the greater
density of bone at the distal end of the humerus, it is not surprising
that almost three times as many of these segments survived compared to
the more cancellous (Îspongyâ) proximal end.
Landmarks of temporal bone fragments
included: the entire petrous portion and mastoid process, the groove
for the middle temporal artery, the zygomatic process, and at least half
of the squamous portion.
Landmarks for the proximal humerus
included: the entire head, anatomical neck, greater tubercle, and
intertubular groove of the surgical neck. Landmarks for the distal
humerus included: the trochlea and capitulum, both the medial and
lateral epicondyle, the olecrenon fossa and corresponding coronoid fossa,
and a portion of the shaft.
In the forearm, 64 left
and 62 right proximal radii,
and 51 left and 46 right distal radii were included in the MNI calculation.
Landmarks for the proximal radius
included: the head, neck, tuberosity and a portion of the anterior
For the ulna
there were 86 left and 81 right proximal ulnae, 35 left and 47 right distal
segments. The proximal end of the ulna, with the considerably
more robust olecrenon process, tends to be better preserved in burial and
is represented in this collection by almost twice the number of segments
when contrasted with the gracile distal portions.
Landmarks for the distal radius
included: the styloid process, ulnar notch, and a portion of the
Landmarks for the proximal ulna
included: the olecrenon process, trochlear notch, coronoid process,
tuberosity, radial notch, and supinator crest.
Landmarks for the distal ulna
included: the styloid process, head, groove for the extensor carpi
ulnaris, and a portion of the shaft.
The lower limb was represented
calcaneous, and talus. One hundred left and 93 right proximal ends,
and 109 left and 88 right distal femora were preserved. The femur
is a major weight-bearing bone in bipeds, thus it is not surprising that
this robust support structure survived well in the depositional context.
Landmarks for the proximal femur
included: the greater and lesser trochanters, the femoral head with
fovea capitus, and the gluteal tuberosity to the intertrochanteric line/crest.
Landmarks for the distal femur
included: the medial and lateral condyles, the patellar articular
surface, and the shaft to the superior margin of the knee joint.
The entire calcaneous
and talus, the two largest bones of the foot comprising
the heel and ankle respectively, were utilized in the MNI count.
There were 96 right tali, 91 left, and a comparable number of calcanei
at 103 and 104 respectively. These are both rather robust bones,
and therefore only intact specimens were utilized for the collection-size
The two tarsal (foot) bone counts corroborated the femoral data, thus giving
credence to final MNI estimate of at least 109 adults in this community.
It is important to note that given the volume of fragments remaining for
each grouping that did not strictly conform to the above definitions, the
number of adult individuals buried in this repository is quite likely higher.
A reasonable estimate if one were to include the slightly more fragmentary
remains would approach 138 adults using the femur, tarsals, humerii, and
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