Bulletin of the National Museum of Nature and Science Series D (Anthropology)
Online ISSN : 2434-0979
Print ISSN : 1881-9087
Current issue
Displaying 1-2 of 2 articles from this issue
  • Kazuhiro Sakaue
    2020 Volume 46 Pages 1-11
    Published: 2020
    Released on J-STAGE: January 17, 2022
    Human-induced traumas seen on human skeletal remains can indicate information that are not preserved in written records. In this paper, three crania with sharp-force traumas excavated at the Japanese castle sites are analyzed to infer from the trauma what could have happened and how the crania have been preserved. Three crania excavated at the Kasai castle site in Tokyo, the Oda castle site in Ibaraki Prefecture, and the Okayama castle site in Okayama Prefecture were found to have the following features in common: 1) These crania were discovered in the undis-turbed environment of a moat or a ditch. 2) They were found in an extremely well-preserved con-dition, but only the crania were found, while their mandibles and the cervical vertebrae were miss-ing. 3) Traumas caused by sharp edged tools were observed on them. 4) The blows that caused these traumas were inflicted from behind the head. 5) There is a high probability that the victim died in battle or was executed. The interpretations are as follows: 1) The head was exposed until the soft tissue decayed, and then the cranium fell into a moat or a ditch. 2) The cervical vertebrae and mandible may have been removed as part of some ritual, and the cranium was sunk into a moat or ditch. Reports of new cases are desired for further inferences.
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  • Kazuhiro Sakaue, Mari Kajigayama
    2020 Volume 46 Pages 13-19
    Published: 2020
    Released on J-STAGE: January 17, 2022
    This report aims to record the human skeletal remain with partial preservation of human soft tissue excavated from an archeological site (the Shiroganecho nishi site) of the Edo era. This individual was estimated to be a middle-aged male in the Samurai class according to his morphological characteristics of his skeletal remain and his burial system and accessories. The remaining soft tissues were restricted to the skin and muscles of the face, right ribs, lower vertebra, and right lower leg, except for the right eyeball. When excavated, these soft tissues remained wet and flexible, with movement in the joints. Thus, the reason as to why these soft tissues have remained in such a condition must not be due to mummification but rather adipoceration. Computed tomography images revealed that his right eye ball was well preserved and artificial teeth made of stones within his mouth.
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