The Archaeology in Tennessee blog is unhappy to report that the U.S. Government is still in shutdown mode, and we now have just 3 days before the United States goes into its first ever default on the national debt, which could plunge the American and worldwide economies into chaos, making the sad economic events of September 2008 look like a pleasant walk in the proverbial park. The principal cause of this mess is a creature known as the extremist politician. One would think that the origins of such politicians date back only to about 1990. However, recent archaeological investigations indicate that extremist politicians of the same ilk actually date far back into ancient times. Recently, an archaeologist unearthed the skeletal remains of what he believes to be the very first such politician. These remains are shown in the following photograph, and you will notice that this politician has her head up the place where all such politicians normally keep their heads.
You will also notice that the metopic suture on the frontal bone of her cranium has not fused, indicating that the ancient politician in question had the mind of a child less than 6 years of age. Given our current experience with extremist politicians in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., this should surprise no one.
This photograph was not originally political in nature. It has been adapted by someone for political use. Its original use was probably medical, and it actually shows the pelvic bones, sacrum, and proximal femora of a human female. You can tell the pelvic bones are female because of the wide, curved-V sciatic notches to the immediate right and left of the eye orbits on the cranium. The cranium is that of a baby positioned upside down in the birth position and ready to exit. A vertical metopic suture is present in the frontal bones of infants to convey a degree of cranial flexibility, which assists the child (and mother) with an easier exit from the birth canal. This suture normally fuses by the time a child is 6 years of age, although it can persist in some adult crania. Such crania are sometimes found in human adult burials on archaeological sites here in Tennessee.
The source of the photograph is credited at the bottom of the photograph, and we extend thanks to a friend of ours in Texas for calling it to our attention here at the Archaeology in Tennessee blog. We also know that many of our visitors at the blog do not have experience in human osteology, and we thought it would be fun and educational to do a bit of it for our readers.