From: Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News
Published September 21, 2010 08:58 AM

Genocide Wiped Out Native American Population

Crushed leg bones, battered skulls and other mutilated human remains are likely all that's left of a Native American population destroyed by genocide that took place circa 800 A.D., suggests a new study.

The paper, accepted for publication in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, describes the single largest deposit to date of mutilated and processed human remains in the American Southwest.

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The entire assemblage comprises 14,882 human skeletal fragments, as well as the mutilated remains of dogs and other animals killed at the massacre site -- Sacred Ridge, southwest of Durango, Colo.

Based on the archaeological findings, which include two-headed axes that tested positive for human blood, co-authors Jason Chuipka and James Potter believe the genocide occurred as a result of conflict between different Anasazi Ancestral Puebloan ethnic groups.

"It was entirely an inside job," Chuipka, an archaeologist with Woods Canyon Archaeological Consultants, told Discovery News.

"The type of event at Sacred Ridge is on the far end of the conflict spectrum where social relations completely melt down," he added, mentioning that the Sacred Ridge "occupants were targeted to take the blame."

Chuipka and Potter analyzed objects excavated at Sacred Ridge, which was a multiple habitation site of 22 pit structures, some of which may have operated as communal ritual facilities for a population that extended beyond the immediate site inhabitants. This suggests the residents at one point exerted some social control in the area.

The unearthed bones and artifacts indicate that when the violence took place, men, women and children were tortured, disemboweled, killed and often hacked to bits. In some cases, heads, hands and feet appear to have been removed as trophies for the killers. The attackers then removed belongings out of the structures and set the roofs on fire.

Article continues: http://news.discovery.com/archaeology/genocide-native-americans-ethnic-cleansing.html

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