ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Preliminary analysis revealed Wednesday the ethnicities of the skeletons found in an archaeological dig in St. Augustine, the archaeologists working at the site say.
The early results indicate one skeleton is a male of African descent and the other skeleton is a European female.
Archaeologist Carl Halbirt says the skeletons in a downtown St. Augustine dig site are old enough to be the first colonists St. Augustine, dating between 1572 - 1586. That's less than 21 years after St. Augustine was founded.
The skeletons have good teeth, and archaeologists say that is one indication they may have been younger. How young? It's unclear. Halbirt says they probably aren't younger than 18.
Again this is preliminary information - more analysis needs to be done to be certain about his ethnicity and age. These two skeletons are within inches of each other, and both were buried under the floor of the first documented parish church in the U.S.
Both were buried in the Christian style with the heads in the east and feet in the west, Halbirt says.
He says it would not be uncommon for a European and an African to be buried close to each other in the same church. Spanish Catholics were buried under the floor of churches, regardless of race.
Halbirt also says the man may not have been a slave, but his occupation is not known yet. He says when a bio-archaeologist does more testing, he can possibly determine if these people were subject to physical demands.