19. What Price Victory: Human Remains Uncovered at
Big Hole National Monument, 1991.
Connor, Melissa A.
During the August, 1991, metal detector inventory of Big Hole National
Battlefield, a partial human skeleton was uncovered. The remains are those
of an unidentified girl in her late teens. The skeleton was on top of a
camas oven, which is consistent with historical accounts of the disposal of
some of the bodies from the battle. The body showed evidence of extensive
postmortem mutilation. The arms had been cut off and laid below the
pelvis, one leg had been detached and was not with the remains, and a
minimum of three hatchet marks was found on the ventral side of the
vertebrae. The extensive postmortem trauma is typical of trauma found at
other Indian Wars battlefield sites. In many Native American cultures,
bodies of enemies were mutilated to ensure that the deceased did not fully
enjoy the afterlife.