Temporal Context

A more in-depth discussion regarding the application of conventional radiography to locate artifacts within the mummified remains will appear later in this text. Since it is particularly useful in dating modern mummified remains, only a brief consideration of the use of artifacts to identify temporal context will be presented here. The artifact may be a religious medallion, a dated coin, a pin, a coffin nail, or clothing. As an example, one case in which conventional radiography contributed to the determination of the temporal context is that of the mummified remains of a Chinese immigrant found in Nevada. A radiograph demonstrated what appeared to be a rivet in the crotch area of a pair of Levi denim jeans the individual was wearing at the time he was buried (Figure 2.106). Once the

Figure 2.106 AP radiograph showing the crotch rivet on this chinese immigrant mummy. Pictured also is an endoscopic image of the rivet and a photo of a modern rivet.

artifact was removed and it was conclusively identified as a crotch rivet, it was a matter of finding out the time frame crotch rivets were used in the manufacture of Levi denim jeans. The crotch rivet was discontinued because it was rumored to heat up while wranglers sat around the campfire and ... well ... you get the picture. Levi, in keeping with its customers' concerns, no longer manufactured its denim jeans with crotch rivets. The crotch rivet was first used in 1873. This information helped us determine the period associated with the mummy being studied and defined the lower limit for the year of burial.

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