September 29, 2015
850 BC Massacre Site Uncovered Near San Francisco
A mass grave of seven men dated to 850 CE was uncovered in the construction of a shopping mall near San Francisco. They range in age from 18-40. They had severe head wounds, broken limbs, and obsidian weapons in their remains. Chemical analysis shows they were far from home. This is another example of the violence among hunter-gatherers in the region. This was an area of high population density during this era. The researchers set about reconstructing the life history of the men. By studying the chemistry of their teeth, they found that the men spent their lives together, and differed completely from the other burials in the Amador Valley. They lived further inland and ate freshwater fish. Their chemical signature placed them to the southeast in the San Joaquin Valley. The researchers then studied the mitochronial DNA of the men. It was found they came from at least four different families. They will study the remains further looking for tobacco or hallucinogenic use, and possible infections or diseases.
Eerkens and his colleagues report their findings in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
Western Digs has the report here;
Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Americas Magazine