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The Odd, the Unusual, and the StrangeBioarchaeological Explorations of Atypical Burials$
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Tracy K. Betsinger, Amy B. Scott, and Anastasia Tsaliki

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781683401032

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683401032.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

The Odd Man Out in a Pioneer Cemetery at Seccombe Lake Park, San Bernardino, California

The Odd Man Out in a Pioneer Cemetery at Seccombe Lake Park, San Bernardino, California

(p.90) 5 The Odd Man Out in a Pioneer Cemetery at Seccombe Lake Park, San Bernardino, California
The Odd, the Unusual, and the Strange

Patricia M. Lambert

University Press of Florida

In 1989, a pioneer cemetery associated with the 19th-century Latter-Day Saints colony in San Bernardino, California, was discovered during the construction of a baseball field. Among the remains of 12 individuals recovered from the cemetery were those of a young man of about 22 years, whose burial treatment differed notably from the other intact interments at the site. Unlike these coffin burials, Burial 5 was found in a sprawling position, apparently tossed unceremoniously into the grave pit. Dental morphological traits identified the genetic affinities of this man as Native American, perhaps a member of the local Cahuilla or Serrano tribes, whereas the other individuals appeared to be of European ancestry, an interpretation consistent with records kept by community members. A possible identity for this individual came from a journal account describing the shooting of an “Indian” by the local sheriff, who was then brought to the fort, died, and was buried before his fellow tribesmen arrived to determine what had transpired and perhaps to claim his remains. This chapter explores the identity and life history of this young man in the context of the history of the valley and the pioneer community in which he met his death.

Keywords:   Interment, San Bernardino, Latter-Day Saints, Cahuilla, Serrano

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