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The pelvis of one male had a bone spear point embedded in it. Children and teenagers were buried with more grave goods than were adults, indicating the high value placed on children.Skeletons included one of a male aged about 15 who had spina bifida. One of his feet was missing and the stump of his lower leg had healed.Suspecting that this was brain tissue, the researchers sent the intact skulls for X-ray, CAT scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which showed recognizable brain structures.In addition, cell structures were seen under a microscope.The subsequent rise in sea level raised the local water table, and in more recent times the pond has been fed by groundwater as well as rainfall.In 1984 the pond had a thick layer of peat, with five strata described by the archaeologists who excavated the pond.The remains found included bones of males and females of all ages from infants to about 60 years, a total of 168 individuals.
The sheriff and medical examiner determined that the burials were not recent.
As the sea level was considerably lower 7,000 to 8,000 years ago than it is today, the pond originally sat above the water table, and was filled only by rainfall and runoff from the surrounding land.
At that time the pond had a relatively thin layer of peat under a thin layer of water.
The local forensic expert originally believed he was examining modern Caucasian remains.
The developers, Jack Eckerd and Jim Swann, halted construction at the pond and called in archaeologists.