Article Title

Skeletal Biology and Mortuary Practice at the Kubinski Site (11WI1186), a Middle Woodland Ossuary

Journal Title/Source

Illinois Archaeology: Journal of the Illinois Archaeology Survey

Publication Date

1-2007

Volume

19

Page Numbers

47-84

Document Type

Journal Article

Department

Sociology and Anthropology

Abstract

To date, the preponderance of studies of mortuary practice in the Middle Woodland period have focused on materials from sites in southern Ohio and the lower Illinois River valley. The discovery of a mass of commingled human skeletal remains on a bluff overlooking the Des Plaines River near Romeoville, Will County, Illinois, affords a unique opportunity to study the lives, deaths, and cultural practices of Middle Woodland individuals living at a "frontier" of the Hopewell world. This article presents a discussion of skeletal biology, paleopathology, and mortuary practice in prehistoric Illinois, as discerned from the skeletal assemblage from the Kubinski site (11WI1186). It is argued that certain cultural practices evidenced in this assemblage, and familiar from the Hopewell core, are the result of an affinity of the people represented to the Hopewell cultural complex. To date, the preponderance of studies of mortuary practice in the Middle Woodland period have focused on materials from sites in southern Ohio and the lower Illinois River valley. The discovery of a mass of commingled human skeletal remains on a bluff overlooking the Des Plaines River near Romeoville, Will County, Illinois, affords a unique opportunity to study the lives, deaths, and cultural practices of Middle Woodland individuals living at a "frontier" of the Hopewell world. This article presents a discussion of skeletal biology, paleopathology, and mortuary practice in prehistoric Illinois, as discerned from the skeletal assemblage from the Kubinski site (11WI1186). It is argued that certain cultural practices evidenced in this assemblage, and familiar from the Hopewell core, are the result of an affinity of the people represented to the Hopewell cultural complex.

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