Lab Notes

Short stories and links shared by the scientists in our community

Some spooky Halloween Archaeology facts from Massive Consortium member Darcy Shapiro

Shared by

Darcy Shapiro

Evolutionary Anthropology

Rutgers University

💀 You can estimate a person’s age from their skeleton (specifically, from how many/which bones have fused growth plates) — and the more skeletal bones you have, the better your age estimate! 

🧛🏼‍♂️ Bioarchaeologists recently excavating a 17th-18th century cemetery in Poland have found graves of “suspected vampires” — people the locals interred with iron sickles or with rocks under their chins, to keep them from rising and feeding on the living. 

🔪 Paleoanthropologists have found cut-marked Neanderthal bones at a number of Neanderthal sites. The placement of these marks suggests that individuals were dismembered and de-fleshed — a likely indicator of cannibalism. 

👻 Happy Halloween! 🎃