Bacalar Museum Skeleton

The skeleton is preserved under glass in a display built into the floor of the museum.

Technical Data of the skeleton from the Fort of San Felipe Bacalar

By: MSc. Allan Ortega Muñoz, Investigador del Centro INAH Quintana Roo.

Sex: Male.

Age: About 35 years old (with a range of about 35 to 39 years).

Physical characteristics: The morphologic characteristics of the skeleton indicate that the individual did little physical work. It is inferred that he could have been a person who occupied some high socioeconomic position in Bacalar society of the 19th Century.

Approximate height: Between 161.71 cm and 164.32 cm (63.67 in to 64.69 in).

Conditions of health and nutrition: Skull injuries suggest a possible lack of iron at some point in his life. The shinbone and the rest of the skeleton indicate an unspecified infectious illness caused by microorganisms such as Staphlococcus and Streptococcus.

The individual shows good dental health, however as is common to find of people in this epoch (19th century) where there is little mouth hygiene, there are caries, some dental tartar, and loss of some parts of teeth.

The skull shows an oval depression 0.63mm by 0.88mm. This could have been produced by a pointed weapon. Nevertheless, this happened in life, not causing the individual’s death.

Racial origin: From the characteristics of the skull and dental patterns, the individual appeared to be Caucasian (white race), possibly European.

Certain genetic features have often (30 to 50%) in the population of the Canary Islands. This fact is important since in 1733 Bacalar was repopulated by migrants from these islands. Could this person be a progeny of one of those migrants of the 18th century?

Archaeological context: There were buttons on the clothing, two of shell, one of bone (possibly bovine), and one of crystal. The bearer could have been a person with considerable purchasing power, given the characteristics of the button materials, and eht excellent quality of worksmanship. Considering these buttons, the person would have owned them between about 1820 and 1870.

Printed from — Bacalar Museum Skeleton.