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  APRIL 24, 1915



Prof. Dr. Metin Ozbek, who was conducting observations in the region, tells the event as follows:

I brought some human skeletons found coincidentally during the construction of a house in Cavusoglu Samanligi, and taken to the laboratuary at Hacettepe University in order to examine it. As it is known, Anthropology enables the scientists to know the age and causes of death, sex, ailments, and some other facts by means of skeletons with the aid of advanced techniques and methods. Above all it is possible to determine the which race it belongs to through the examination of a skull. It was impossible to match the skulls with the bones of the body where, the remains of the skeletons we found. Thus, we counted the individual skeletons according to the amount of skulls and we numbered each.

In other words each individual skeleton had a different anthropological identity. We found out that there were five females and four males among the remains. The most prominent criterion that indicates the age of death is “symohysin pubiswhich” is a part of Pelvis. This part was preserved in seven of the individual skeletons we worked on. We demonstrated the age range of skeletons found in Cavusoglu Samanligi as follows.

1. Female (P6)........17-18 age
2. Male (P7)...........17-18 age
3. Female (P4)........18-19 age
4. Female (P3)........27-30 age
5. Male (P2)...........35-40 age
6. Female (P1)........39-44 age
7. Male(P5)............50 age (approximately)
8. Chid (D.1)..........15 age (approximately)

There was a striking common characteristics of the skeletons examined; there were injuries on the skulls which resulted from crushes with cutting tools. Accordingly, the common cause of death was subjection to severe torture.

I. Marks of Cuts on the Skulls:

Nr.1) Female, There are two clefts on the skull caused by sharp-edged instruments. One of them is on the right parietal and it is 42 mm. Long. The second one is also on the right parietal and it is 36 mm. long. Presumably her instant death resulted from the blows directed towards the head.

Nr.2) Female (Photograph 1) We identified the traces of four cuts on the skull. The first one is on the first parietal and it is 95 mm. long. The sharp edged instrument cut through the skull and reached the brain. The second cleft is on both parietals. The cutting tool-most probably an axe hit the Pemals on the head and split the skull open. Such an act is enough to cause instant death. The third stroke left a mark on the left parietal and is 12 mm. to the back of the first cleft.

This scar is 48 mm. long and 19 mm wide and looks like a shuttle. The fourth trace is right at the back of the third and is in the same direction. Half of it is on the occipital bone. 

Nr.3) Male (Photograph 2a) He is one of the group having the greatest number of clefts on the skull. The sharp edged tool hit its mark on the left ear and severed to mastoid totally. This blow slightly abraded the occipital bone as well. The second blow hit the left eye and left a deep mark on the frontal. The third mark which is 75 mm. long is on the left parietal. The sharp-edged instrument which entered the brain caused a long cleft between the left tuber parietal and sutura lamb doidalis.

The power of the blow formed some other cracks in the same area. The fourth blow right on top of the head cut the sagittal suture. This cleft is 48 mm. long. The fifth blow is in horizontal plane and severed the right parietal in parts close to the sagittal suture. The instrument hit on the left zygomatic bone. In this area it cut the bone and some parts of the superior maxillary. This person was also burned in fires. (Photograph 2b)

Nr 4) Male (Photograph 3) There are marks of three blows directed towards the brain. The first one is a vertical cleft which is 37 mm long. The second horizontal one is along the parietal and frontal. It is 92 mm. long. The third blow was also on the left parietal and caused a cleft which is 49 mm long and 21 mm wide.  

The sharp-edged tool severed the tabule externa. These blows resulted in an instant death. Like the person, this one was also burned after death. 

Nr.5) Female (Photograph 4). We discovered four cutting marks on the skull. The first one on the frontal is 28 mm. long and not very deep. The second one is at the top part, along both sides of the parietal and it is 77 mm long. This cleft is deep enough to be the sign demonstrating her instant death. The third blow on the right ear was also fatal. It severed the mastoid totally and cut the inferior maxillary partly. The fourth mark is on the front part of the right upper jaw.

Nr.6) Male (Photograph 5). An adult which has four clefts on the head. The first one on the left parietal is quite deep. It is 57 mm. long and 14 mm. wide. The cutting tool entered the brain as well. On the side of the sagittal suture there is a 23 mm long crevice. The second one is on the saggittal suture. It is 29 mm. long and 28 mm wide. This crevice is intersected by other two clefts. The horizontal one ise 43 mm. and the oblique one is 42 mm. The third cleft is also oblique. It is on the right parietal, a few mm. to the front of the parietal cavity. The foruth mark is made by a sharp pointed instrument. It is caused by a blow struck on the head close to the sagittal suture. The individual was probably tortured severely.

Nr.7) Male: There are signs of five hard blows. The first one is in the area of the left auditory canal. The sharp-edged instrument severed the mastoid totally. It even severed the zygomatic partly. There were two blows stuck on the left ear one after the other. They probably caused death right at that moment. The second mark is closer to the lambda suture on the right parietal. This cleft is partly on the horizontal plane and it is 41 mm long. The third crevice is between the two lambda suture on the occipital. It is 44 mm. long. The fourth one is quite deep and 48 mm. long. It is situated on the procenus occipital externa. The fifth crevice is right on the back of the skull. It is 53 mm. long.

Nr.8) Female: The skeleton belongs to a girl who died at about the age of fifteen. There are three cutting marks on the skull. The first crevice is deep and reaches the brain area. It is on the right parietal and 50 mm. long. The second one is situated in a vertical position and 20 mm. long The third one is right at the back part. This teenager was burnt in fire after being killed.

Nr.9) Female: She died at about the age 17 or 19. There are no signs of blows on the preserved bones of the skull. The main parts of the occipital were either broken or lost. It is impossible to state the reasons of death.

II. Identification of race through skeletons:

It is possible to identify race by measurement, index, and morphological observation of the skulls. However there are variations in each group of race. By means of Anthropometric techniques we examined the skeletons found in Cavusoglu Samanligi. We calculated the cephalic index which is the most prominent criteria in race studies. We took the measurement of the eight skulls. The indexes varied between 76 and 89. This result showed that four are mesocaphalic and the others are brachycephalic. We never came across with dolchocephalic group. In Anatolia Alpina race which includes both mesocephalic and brachycephalic ones, all the skeletons belonged to Alpine group to which Anatolian Turks belong. The skeleton of the female whose death age is between 17 and 19 does not belong to this group. It is in the east variation of the Dinaric race which is called Armenoid.

While evaluating the heights we used the regression equations of Trotter and Gleser. Where the three female skeletons are concerned, the results are 52.9 cm. 159.2 cm and 168.2 cm. The results related with the three men are 170.1, 172.4 and 173.5 cm.

Along with the skeltons, we also found one (shirt) button, a sharp-edged iron piece and a part of an upper jaw. According to Prof.Dr.Ilber Uzel from the Dept. of Dentistry at Gülhane Medicine Academy, the fragment of the upper total Prothesis belong to the right posterior. The prosthesis is rubber and the teeth are porcelain. Prostheses were used by the members of higher classes in 1900 s. Acatin traces (on the prosthesis) suggest the possibility of a Male owner.

This type of porcelain was used between the years of 1915-1925 and produced by an American firm known as SSN. The epoch, there skeletons belong to is thus proved in this way as well.

III. Marks on the long bones:

Despite a large number of cutting marks on the skulls, there are very few cuts on the other bones of the skeletons. Virtually, this is because of the fact that in fatal attempts the most appropriate part of the body is the head since it is vulnerable.

1.There are three clefts on the diaphysis of the humerus of an adult. This depicts that signs of the adult was burned.

2.On the front side of the diaphysis of the right tibia of a women there is a deep cutting mark.

3.There is a deep cutting mark in the lower parts of the right tibia of a male.

IV. General Conclusion and Evaluation:

The skeletons which were coincidentally found in Cavusoglu Samanligi (Ercis) were examined thoroughly in terms of antrophological methods. It is concluded that these skeletons belong to mostly young people who were deliberately killed and some of them were burned. The skulls demonstrated that these skeletons belong to people from the Alpin race-type. Where Anatolia is concerned, they most probably belong to Turks. The scientific discoveries prove that these people were subjected to severe torture and killed brutally. These facts confirm the statements of the witnesses who live in the same area today. Thus the part of history related to Armenians has to be rewritten because the people who were massacred violently were not the Armenians but the Turks.

Prof. Dr. Metin ÖZBEK

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