Journal of Archaeology in the Low Countries 1-2 (November 2009)Quentin Bourgeois; Luc Amkreutz; Raphaël Panhuysen: The Niersen Beaker burial: A renewed study of a century-old excavation
3 Human remains

3.1 Observations in the field: 1907

The first physical anthropological observations in the field by local practitioner Dr Hanedoes van Almkerk were included in Holwerda’s 1907 publication. When Dr Hanedoes studied the grave, the skeleton was not fully cleaned and several bones on the surface were strongly decomposed into a grey mass that had the consistency of soap. His observations are especially important since he described the original superior surface of the buried remains, which today is covered in plaster and of which only a few not very informative photographs exist. The remains were clearly identifiable as human. According to Dr Hanedoes, the skeleton was lying on the back. On the exposed surface he observed the skull, which he describes as a section after removal or more likely complete decomposition of the superior right lateral part of the skull. He further mentions that the vertebral column and the right arm were visible as soil discolourations. Solid bone was preserved from the proximal part of the humerus and a section of the left pelvic bone. He also observed a large part of what he calls the left femur. He mentions that the proximal part was relatively well preserved, whereas bone decomposition in the area of the popliteal fossa had resulted in considerable bone loss. Parallel to the femur a longitudinal stretch of grey soaplike mass was visible and its original shape could not be determined. Dr Hanedoes recognised the presence of the skeleton of a second individual by the presence of a skull, other parts of this skeleton were not visible at the time he inspected the burial.