Title page for ETD etd-04142005-222948

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Penney, Adrienne Elizabeth
Author's Email Address apenne1@lsu.edu
URN etd-04142005-222948
Title Analysis of the Talus and Calcaneus Bones from the Poole-Rose Ossuary: A Late Woodland Burial Site in Ontario, Canada
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Geography & Anthropology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Mary Manhein Committee Chair
Heather McKillop Committee Member
Robert Tague Committee Member
  • osteology
  • demography
  • tarsal
Date of Defense 2005-04-11
Availability unrestricted
This study reports on the demography and osteological profile of the Poole-Rose Ossuary. Excavated in 1990 under the direction of Heather McKillop and at the request of the Alderville First Nation, the Poole-Rose Ossuary is a Late Woodland burial site in southern Ontario, Canada. Lack of European artifacts in the burial suggests that this site predates European contact. The Poole-Rose Ossuary is radiocarbon dated to A.D. 1550 ± 50 years. The skeletal remains were commingled. This ossuary likely represents the mass re-burial known as the “Feast of the Dead” or the “Kettle.” For the most part, closely related individuals were involved in such re-burials, which occurred every eight to 12 years.

The talus and calcaneus were used in this study. The left talus shows a minimum number of individuals (MNI) of 212; approximately 15% of the individuals are subadults. The MNI is within the range reported in previous studies on the Poole-Rose Ossuary (range of MNI is 161 to 337). The incidence of degenerative joint disease is low, which is consistent with the clinical literature. This study also reports on issues of concordance and discordance of the Poole-Rose Ossuary with an ethnohistoric account and other studies of Late Woodland ossuaries (e.g., burial of infants, de-fleshing, and cremation).

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