27 Responses

  1. John
    John at |

    Sounds like the modern day Guantanamo Bay detention camp techniques used today.

    Reply
    1. Joe K
      Joe K at |

      Really? At Guantanamo Bary, is the “sole of the foot” is “beaten so severely that the outer layer of bone . . .peeled away in layers?” Really? Silly off-topic comments like yours add nothing to the discussion.

      Reply
  2. Evidence of Hobbling, Torture Discovered at Ancient Massacre Site in Colorado | Western Digs | Visiting the Ancients

    […] via Evidence of Hobbling, Torture Discovered at Ancient Massacre Site in Colorado | Western Digs. […]

  3. Dan Kimble
    Dan Kimble at |

    Yes, more evidence of the Noble Savage.

    Oh, the horrors of the European settlement of the North American continent. (sarcasm)

    The politically correct seem to have covered up the evidence of the favorite pastime of the aboriginal Americans….torture. But, they didn’t have TV…..so, this is understandable, right?

    The aboriginal Americans were known by the earliest Europeans to have practiced brutal torture of their enemies. They would torture their captives for hours…..for the fun of it.

    Torture has been a part of human culture through history. It was the Europeans who put a stop to it.

    Reply
    1. manapp99
      manapp99 at |

      But Europeans did a lot of torture on their own. Look at the inquisitions and the Spanish treatment of the people down south for evidence. Massacres in North America of indigenous people were chronicled and who can forget the slave years.

      Europeans did not stop torture. They were among the most prolific at it.

      Reply
    2. Chad Justice
      Chad Justice at |

      @Dan – That is one of the most racist little tantrums I’ve seen on an archaeology site recently. There were terrible horrors caused by the expansion of Europeans into both continents. There was also a lot of violence within the indiginous cultures of the Americas but you’re assertion that Europeans put a stop to torture and violence and that all indiginous cultures were violent is spurious and rediculous. I don’t know where you get your idea that there is some secret “political correct” group covering up evidence. That is conspiritorial idiocy! All human cultures have violent characteristics and justifying European genocide (small pox blankets was just one strategy employed by Europeans) by saying those people were horrible and we did them a favor is so incredibly and maliciously racist I don’t know what else to say but, “Stop It.” Keep your bigoted nonsense to yourself.

      Reply
      1. Larry K
        Larry K at |

        Please read your history and don’t fall for that noble savage drivel. Read the original writings of first contact histories which give plenty of evidence of violence Indian cultures perpetrated on each other.
        Europeans did not give small pox infected blankets to anyone. That is a myth. Anyway small pox does not live outside the human body for more than a few hours.

        Reply
    3. Doug
      Doug at |

      Well said.

      Reply
      1. Anthony
        Anthony at |

        Well said but completely wrong. Strive harder.

        Reply
        1. Doug
          Doug at |

          How am I completely wrong? How is “well said” wrong?
          Strive harder? OK- Very well said. Said well. You did a good job with what you said. I think the way you phrased things was quite well done.
          Is that better?

          Reply
          1. Doug
            Doug at |

            And Anthony, what input have you had? Just a little internet warrior jab? Or did I miss your bequeathment of knowledge?

  4. Greg789
    Greg789 at |

    @Larry K Good comment. President Jefferson, who was inoculated against smallpox, made it the U.S. policy to inoculate the Indians in 1803 and ordered Lewis and Clark to carry a supply with them to introduce to the Indians.

    Reply
  5. Daily Dose of Archaeology 4.0 - Page 140 - Historum - History Forums

    […] Evidence of Hobbling, Torture Discovered at Ancient Massacre Site in Colorado | Western Digs […]

  6. Rory Tyler
    Rory Tyler at |

    San Juan Basketmaker, and I assume Durango as well, went to full time agriculture c. 1300 b.p. This was about the time of the Teotehuacan collapse on the Mexican Plateau. A diaspora, possibly militant, may have made its way north. The speculation re: an violent invasive element is worth consideration. “Do it our way, or we’ll torture and murder you.” A compelling argument. Subsequently, we see the rise in this region of the Anasazi culture which included such Mexican-sourced refinements as buildings, roads, and cannibalism. Ahh, the peaceful Anasazi.

    Reply
  7. Kelvin
    Kelvin at |

    If nothing else our country should stop using the formally thought of Noble Red mans names in honor for military vehicles and also for sport teams now that we found the Indians were far more violent than what was pushed on us from the start.

    Reply
  8. Steve Brooks
    Steve Brooks at |

    Wow, that’s all i’m going to say to Kelvin and Dan, simply ‘WOW’. That is some ignorance you have their, you must be in pure bliss! In Europe at that time, we were breaking people on the wheel, dislocating peoples joints on the rack and don’t even get me started on the Norse Blood Eagle or other inventive ways thought up in the Dark Ages (yes, 800AD was the Dark Ages) The seemingly endless war throughout Europe in this age, would have made this look a picnic in comparison. Do not think for a second that we were any different than them in this period. As for the small pox blankets, that was after Lewis and Clarke and was aimed at the Cheyenne and other later tribes to reduce their number and make it easier to seize their lands ahead of the gold rush in the black hills. It is a historical fact and is recorded in hundreds of history books. They were even used on the reservations, and you were lucky if your blanket just had smallpox, most blankets hadnt even been washed before they were sent to the “Animal Pens” sorry, reservations. I’m going to stop now, but as an American, you should open your eyes to history and what your ancestors done, not live in ignorance and just say it was all lies.

    Reply
    1. Larry K
      Larry K at |

      You are wrong about the blankets and small pox. Ward Churchill is responsible for perpetuating this myth. He has been thoroughly discredited. A good example of how tenured professors get away with shoddy research – http://quod.lib.umich.edu/p/plag/5240451.0001.009/–did-the-us-army-distribute-smallpox-blankets-to-indians?rgn=main;view=fulltext

      Reply
  9. bryan
    bryan at |

    All of these comments refer to the damage done to the victims feet as torture as does
    The article itself. Is it not more plausible that it was caused to keep their food supply from running away? Had they just killed the victims the meat would have spoiled quickly.

    Reply
    1. Nick Carter
      Nick Carter at |

      If you have so little food that you need to start eating human beings, but you also have too many humans to eat before their meat spoils, the most efficient way to proceed would be to kill them all at once and jerk the meat – a technique with which the killers here would presumably have been familiar. Otherwise, whether or not you hobble your victims, their metabolisms are going to keep on keeping on up to the moment of death. That means that either you’ll have to feed them (but you already don’t have enough food) or let them starve slowly (breaking down their muscle tissue and tasty fat). This really seems more like a nasty display of power.

      Reply
  10. Dave Olson
    Dave Olson at |

    Two wrongs don’t make a right, but both sides must acknowledge their own wrongdoing(s). We can all agree that torture is evil, bad, and wrong, but as long as one (pre-Enlightenment Europe) is constantly made an example of while another (pre-Columbian Aboriginal America) is ignored or whitewashed, your argument is invalid.

    Whitewashed….get it?

    Reply
  11. Chris Amon
    Chris Amon at |

    Ok not entirely sure if smallpox blankets were real, but it certainly sounds plausible because we Americans did a lot worse than that. To say “oh there goes the myth of the noble red man! They had cannibals, they had massacres, we did the world a favor by exterminating them” is both ignorant and evil. This is an archeology website, go peddle hate over at MSNBC.
    Ok! Got that off my chest. So I’ve read in the spanish accounts of the DeSoto expedition that the Mississippians hobbled slaves who they captured in war. Since the site was abandoned shortly after, could these people represent recently captured slaves?

    Reply
  12. Week 7 ArchNews | ANP 203: Introduction to Archaeology (Summer 2014)
  13. Robert
    Robert at |

    Is there anyway to determine the sex of these bones?
    Was this torture done to both male and female?

    Reply
  14. Beth
    Beth at |

    I am appalled by some of the comments, but unfortunately not at all surprised. As an enrolled tribal member from Montana, I can say without a doubt that there were fighting and war amongst the tribes. There is no disputing that. As a people we were a force to be reckoned with, when the playing field was level. We as tribal people have never said we were completely pacifists nor that we lived a life of non violence. Every human being no matter what their ethnicity has exhibited a level of violence whether it was warranted, rationalized, provoked or any for other reason the human mind can conjure.

    I will now return to my statement of a level playing field…when the Europeans came to the Americas, they came to take and they used every power available to them to do so. They felt Native Americans were savages, a people who were beneath them. Native Americans did not have the same weapons available to them. And yes we did acquire guns, but never the heavier artillery as the armies. We were protecting our own people and land.

    History is written by the winner. Our history books do not tell the whole story. What’s portrayed as battles won by the US Army, was usually a massacre on the Native people. Yes we did retaliate, but in the end, we lost.

    As far as blankets with small pox, that is absolutely true. This was a form of germ warefare. You may “read” in the history books or other documents that it was not, but those accounts are wrong or used to cover up a wrong. We have stories passed down that account for this. You may scoff, but our history is an oral history. And in the grand scheme of things, this history was not that long ago.

    Our stories tell us of thousands of lodges (teepees) being decimated by small pox. Eight to 10 people per lodge, that adds up to a big number! On our reservation we have a ridge, where those people who died of small pox are buried & remembered.

    On a last note, the genocide of the Native American people has not stopped, it is just quiet and slow. As I stated above that I am an “enrolled” member of a tribe; that means that I am recognized by the federal government as a tribal member. I have a number and an I.D. card that says so. How many of you have to carry one of those?

    The federal government has used the blood quantum as a form of genocide. The “rule” is a person has to be 1/4 of the tribe they are born to and be able to trace ancestry back two generations. We are now in the 21st century, so of course there is a mixing of blood, both European and other tribes. In the end if a Native American person cannot prove blood quantum for one tribe, but have more than a 1/4 blood quantum if they have of let’s just say 3 tribes put together, they are not recognized as a Native American by the government.

    So at the end of the day, no one is denying that many the tribes weren’t warrior societies. We are not even saying that we didn’t need to adopt a new way of life or to modernize. We are saying that what happened to us, in the way it happened to us is the atrocity. Denying what was done is the atrocity. Whether you have read or believe the latter to be truth or not. As modern native people we feel the generational pain of the American Holocaust, and gerations to come will feel the pain of it also.

    Reply
    1. Larry
      Larry at |

      Beth,
      I disagree about the blankets and your comment about “germ warfare” but I agree that smallpox and other diseases from the Europeans devastated the native American populations. However, all of this was really inevitable once the Europeans landed in the Americas. There was no way to stop it until it reached every tribe just as there was no way to stop the spread of syphilis around the world which originated in the Americas. What really annoys me is the way people tend to choose sides in these discussions. Unless you come from royalty there are stories that almost every family can tell about hardships and unfairness. My family comes from immigrant Germans who came to America from the Volga region of Russia where they had settled since the 1700’s. They were severely persecuted both before and after the Russian revolution. Their homes and farms and property were stolen and they were killed and starved and eventually exiled to Siberia with nothing, not even their tools. I don’t expect people to consider me a victim of those atrocities. If native americans continue to consider themselves victims instead of taking advantage of what this country has to offer then you will never prosper .

      Reply
      1. Beth
        Beth at |

        Larry, I can appreciate your point of view. My comment was in response to one of the previous comments, that was completely in bad taste. I in no way consider myself a victim and not every Native American does. I simply was sharing what I know to be true of my culture. I am educated, live off of the reservation, although I still call it home, its where my roots are. Feeling a generational hurt is not about playing the victim, its about remembrance. I agree that just about every culture has experienced persecution, but where I’m coming from is I have heard first hand from family members & friends who experienced the assimilation. It wasn’t that long ago in history. Hearing directly from a grandparent about the pain they suffered in many forms is not easily forgotten. There is such a misconception of native people past and present, such as you comment about us never prospering. That is just not true, many people are leading a disadvantaged life, and they are from ALL walks of life. I have family members who are educated, who are business owners, lawyers, doctors, politicians, you name it…they are prosperous, successful members of society. But they too feel the generational hurt. It is something that I don’t think a person can understand until you’ve felt it. It has nothing to do with playing the victim card.

        Reply
        1. Larry
          Larry at |

          Beth,
          Of course there are many examples of prosperous native americans. I am truly impressed by those of any disadvantaged culture that overcome these disadvantages and succeed beyond all expectations. One cannot generalize but what I see is that the culture that someone comes from does matter – a lot. My sister in-law is an Ojibwa. She has succeeded in life in so many ways, in her career, in her care for her family and she would tell you it is all due to Jesus Christ and her faith in Him.
          I know that native american culture is not all corrupt and there are some very admirable things about it to be appreciated and remembered but in many cases it has been corrupted by activists and troublemakers. She would also tell you that her other family members that still live on the reservation are poisoned by that culture. They for the most part think they are “owed” by every white person they meet. They do consider themselves victims and warriors against not just the government but every white man. They do not work and have large tribal stipends (from casinos). Although they have considerable financial means I do not consider them successful. They have scorned education and have embraced the drug culture. They have reverted to spiritualism and animism as their “religion”. Their families are a mess and the children are growing up in this same kind of disaster. This is what has become of native American culture in too many communities. Until this culture changes there will be no change.

          Reply

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