Leave No Bone Unturned

Archaeology, UCF Anthropology

Dr. John Schultz.

In January, Dr. John Schultz, Associate Professor, Associate Chair and Undergraduate Coordinator of the Anthropology department, will be traveling to Trinidad for two weeks to examine a set of bones discovered during an excavation.

According to Trinidad Express Newspapers, a skull in a pot, six complete human skeletons and 36 incomplete skeletons were found during the excavation works at the Red House, Port of Spain. They were found to date back to between AD 430 to AD 1820.

Schultz was first asked by Dr. Basil Reid, senior lecturer in archaeology at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine, to review images of the human skeletal material through email. Reid is the Lead Archaeologist of the Red House Archaeological Excavations, Office of the Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Schultz met Reid during his graduate studies at the University of Florida.

“This ultimately led to him asking if I could consult on the project by examining the skeletal material in Trinidad,” Schultz said.

He was interested in the project, but wanted to set up a contract through UCF and


Dr. Basil Reid

involve one of his MA Anthropology graduate students, Patrisha Meyers. Meyers traveled to Trinidad on Dec. 13 to prep the material for analysis. This includes cleaning, reconstructing and conducting photography among other things.

Schultz will arrive in Trinidad on Jan. 2 to finish the analysis with Meyers. This trip will be his first to Trinidad to conduct research and they have set a number of goals on determining certain factors about the skeletons.

They need to determine the minimum number of individuals (MNI) that is represented by all of the skeletal material that was excavated. They have also set out to determine demographic information about the skeletal population such as age and sex. Their final goal is to determine health and pathology of the population such as any disease or trauma that occurred before death.

“I think this is a great opportunity for myself and Patty, and we are very excited to help the government of Trinidad and Tobago learn more about these skeletons that were discovered when undertaking renovations at the Office of the Parliament,” Schultz said.

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