Forensic Anthropology, Archaeology, and Other Science News 12/12/13

Screenshot of video from Metro UK via of Xray showing 40 year old fetus.

Screenshot of video from Metro UK via of Xray showing 40 year old fetus.

Forensic Anthropology

Mass grave weighs on Mexican town The Washington Post

Last month, when police found the first bodies among the broken cornstalks along a bend in the Rio Lerma, it was a few more scratches in the sad tally of Mexico’s drug war. “Another day, another mass grave” read one headline. The investigation netted 22 policemen accused of participating in the killings. They came from across the river, marking the Jalisco-Michoacan state line, where cartels have been fighting. Read more at The Washington Post

FBI digging up area on Detroit’s east side in search for bone fragments and other human remains ABC 7

The FBI is continuing to dig up an area on Detroit’s east side looking for bone fragments and other human remains.

However, the FBI says records and search warrants on this case are sealed and they are not commenting. Read more at ABC 7 

Human remains found in Altadena area of Angeles National Forest LA TImes

Homicide detectives plan to return to a section of the Angeles National Forest in Altadena on Thursday to investigate human remains found there earlier this week. Read more at LA Times


Scientists uncover a tortured history of disease and death from the Middle Ages onward

On a hot afternoon in July 2012, Giuseppe Vercellotti was digging up bones near the wall of an abandoned medieval church here, thinking about getting a cold drink, when he heard his students call his name. Faces glistening with sweat, they told him that they had found something strange buried half a meter down. Vercellotti took a look and saw a layer of lime, used in ancient times to squelch the stench of rotting corpses. When he tapped the hard layer with his trowel, it sounded hollow. Read more at

Wars of the Roses bodies found in hotel grounds near Harlech Castle WalesOnline

Archaeologists believe three bodies found in the grounds of Harlech’s old Queen’s Hotel date from the days when the castle was almost permanently under siege.

Workers building a new visitor centre next to Harlech Castle may have stumbled on the remains of three people who may have been caught up in the Wars of the Roses. The bodies were found near the grounds of the Castle Hotel last Thursday. Read more at WalesOnline

Looters Lead Egyptian Authorities to Two Ptolemaic Tombs Archaeology

The Ministry of State for Antiquities Egyptian section announced the discovery of two first-century tombs in the Roman necropolis at al-Qantar, following an illegal excavation. The first tomb had been built of mud brick and belonged to a priest named Mina, who is depicted on wall paintings in front of the goddess Isis. The second tomb was built of limestone but its occupant has not yet been identified. Read more at Archaeology

Mudslides protected ancient Vatican necropolis from ravages of time Catholic Register

Slipping hillsides of clay, mud and gravel entombed an enormous necropolis below today’s Vatican City State, keeping its underground “city of the dead” safely sealed for two millennia. Read more at the Catholic Register


3D-printed skull simulates sensations of brain surgery New Scientist


40-year-old fetus found inside 82-year-old woman (Thank you @LibraryatNight)

Six Feet Over: The Future of Skyscraper Cemeteries Gizmodo

The 9 most baffling passages in the Bible, and what they really mean io9

The secret origins of nerd, dork, and other things you’ve been called io9

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