Date of Award

May 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Robert J. Jeske

Committee Members

Patricia B. Richards, Jordan Karsten


Bioarchaeology, Cemeteries, Osteology, Subadults


The constituents of the Saints Peter and Paul Parish of Independence, Wisconsin contracted Commonwealth Heritage Group in 2015 to excavate and analyze 108 individuals located in an unmarked portion of the parish cemetery during a large church renovation project. This thesis is an osteological analysis of the excavated cemetery population, providing an estimated age, sex, and pathological profile of the individuals interred therein. In addition, a comparative analysis is conducted between subadult segments of the Ss. Peter and Paul Parish sample and the Milwaukee County Poor Farm Cemetery located in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. The parameters of the analysis include the investigation of the rates of common pathological lesions observed between the two populations as a proxy for developmental stress. In addition, a comparison of long bone growth rates is incorporated as a second line of evidence toward the assessment of developmental vulnerability. It was expected that the MCPFC sample would be characterized as under more risk factors than the Ss. Peter and Paul Parish sample. Results suggest that the rural Ss. Peter and Paul sample experienced fewer lesions and other markers of disease than the sample from the more urban cemetery at the Milwaukee county Poor Farm. Long bone lengths also suggest that the rural population was generally healthier and larger than the contemporaneous urban population.