Bones found in the River Coln, Fairford are placed upside down for professional photo

First published in Cotswolds news
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Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

ARCHEOLOGISTS are scratching their heads over the photo of a skeleton found in Fairford and have pointed out that a number of bones have been placed upside down.

Since the Standard reported the carbon dating results of a skeleton found in the River Coln in June, a wave of emails have been sent from archaeologists all across the globe, asking to see the anthropologist’s evidence.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard:

Dr Kristina Kilgrove, who initially spotted the misplacement of the bones, is a bioarcheologist at the University of West Florida. She generated a lot of attention with her humorous blog post titled ‘who needs an osteologist?’ where she asked her readers to point out the mistakes in the photo.

Replies included one reader saying: “Os coxae are upside down. Scapulae are upside down. Ulnae are upside down. Tibiae are facing posterior while femora are facing anterior. There also appears to be an extra right arm bone next to the humerus. Oh and I can't tell what the black thing is in the chest cavity. I'm really hoping it's not the sacrum.”

One comment even said: “Everything. Everything is wrong with this picture, and I haven't studied bones in almost three years.”

Dr Kilgrove continued by saying: “It's as if we don't all have access to smartphones that could give us a properly laid-out skeleton in a matter of a few seconds!”

Director of British archaeologist jobs and resources David Connolly also seemed baffled by the carbon dating results for the skeleton. “To say the skeleton is an African woman is a very bold statement to make without evidence. What features on the skeleton made the anthropologist think that?”

Both archaeologists seemed keen to see the report to go with the results of the skeleton’s ancestry but the identity of the anthropologist is still a mystery.

A spokesman from Gloucestershire Police said: “The anthropology organisation we dealt with did not want any media attention. Currently we have the skeleton and we are looking after it until we find a university to take it in and perform more tests. This should happen by the end of the month.”


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