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Latino Daily News

Wednesday May 16, 2012

Ancient Mystery:  How Did Inca Bones from 1200 AD End up in Winter Garden, Florida?

Ancient Mystery:  How Did Inca Bones from 1200 AD End up in Winter Garden, Florida?

Photo: Inca Bones Found in Florida Pool

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Researchers are amazed and puzzled by two ancient Peruvian skulls found in a Florida backyard last January.  The two skulls, dating back from possibly the year 1200 to 1400, AD are believed to have originated in Peru or another South American country and somehow ended up in the town of Winter Garden, Florida. 

Medical examiner Jan Garavaglia studied the skulls and was able to determine that one was of a young child possibly aged 10 or 11 and the other an older man.  She originally alerted officials after finding human tissue still on the bone; however later found that this tissue had been mummified.  After closer examination, Garavaglia determined that the bones were from Peru after observing an “Inca bone,” on the skulls.  This bone is a typical feature of the people from the Incan culture in Peru and other areas of South America. 

Researchers from the University of Central Florida and Yale University are now trying to piece the mystery together and find the origins of these skulls.  Yet what will probably remain a mystery is how these skulls ended up in Florida. 

“Back in the 1930s and 1940s, people would go on vacation and buy things like (skulls), and maybe they buried them when they didn’t want them anymore.  Another possibility is that it used to be a migrant farm worker camp, and some cultures will bring part of their heritage with them when they leave.  It could be that they were moving on and decided to bury it there,” stated Garavaglia.

The archaeologists and anthropologists from both universities will continue their research, however more than likely the skulls will be returned to Peru. 

Although the mystery may never be fully understood Garavaglia is still amazed at the discovery.  She stated, “It was certainly a departure from the norm.  When you hold something in your hand that is that old, from 1200, it’s amazing.  To think about the connection back in time, that you hold in your hand what they held in their hand.  Amazing.”