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COM professor's research includes scans of Mayan bones

Jennifer Hotzman, assistant professor of anatomy at William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine, needed a CAT scan of Native American bones from the time shortly after Columbus arrived. She put out a call for assistance and Singing River Hospital stepped in to help. 
 
“Tipu is a unique Mayan archeological site in Belize that dates to the 1500s. It contains about 600 burials,” said Hotzman. “Of course, everyone knows Columbus came to the new world in 1492. The major question I want to answer is how the native population was influenced by their contact and interaction with the Spanish.”
 
She has bones of about 249 juveniles and several were chosen for the examination. “Since rapidly growing bones are most affected by nutrition and living conditions, these will be used for the CAT scan,” Hotzman said. “The scans will be compared with other databases to see if the Mayan children reached their developmental milestones appropriately.”
 
Karen Ehlers, chief technician of the radiology department, said Singing River Hospital was pleased to help with the research project. “This is very interesting. It is not every day we get to work with 500-year old bones.” 
 
Click here to see the story about Dr. Hotzman’s work that aired on WLOX.