Local Students Uncover Centuries Of History - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/27/03

Local Students Uncover Centuries Of History

A small group of anthropology students are trying to help put some type of identification not only on a face, but on rib cages, legs, and fingers as well.

Knowing to whom these bones belong and what type of life they led has been sort of a neat mystery to owner Mary Moran - a mystery she's been wanting to uncover for years.

"The building was actually built in 1924, and of course we had no idea these were under here until after Hurricane Camille. The bricklayers were the ones who discovered them and they brought one of the bones in to show to my dad and he said that's a human remain," said Moran.

In 1969, the Moran family found out their business was built on top of a cemetery, and that's about all the information they had until this week.

"We think that they were most likely European settlers dated to about 1720. And based on the historical information , they probably belonged to the early French community here, and by looking at the bone we can also tell things like the diet, we can look for signs of disease, trauma, and other markers that will help us reconstruct the lives that they were living back then," said USM anthropology professor Dr. Marie Danforth.

The students will take these bones back to USM for a more in-depth physical as well as chemical analysis.

Hopefully, unearthing more light on part of South Mississippi history.

After the students analyze the eight skeletal remains, they will return the bones under the art studio and will begin working on the other three skeletons that are buried a bit deeper.

By Karla Redditte

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