Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Zuckerman, Molly K.

Committee Member

Osterholtz, Anna J.

Committee Member

Miller, D. Shane

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Applied Anthropology

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures


This project employs a modified version of the Bioarchaeology of Care (BoC) in an analysis of Burial 1 from the Mississippi State Asylum, Jackson, MS. Burial 1 is a skeletal individual recovered from the historic MSA cemetery. Notably, Burial 1 exhibits recidivistic cranial trauma in the form of cranial depression fractures (CDFs) and significant entheseal changes in the upper extremities. However, because there is no identifying information associated with Burial 1, interpretations of the caretaking they may have received, both prior to and after institutionalization, include short- and long-term outcomes from their community and the MSA. Additionally, Burial 1’s CDFs and subsequent traumatic brain injury likely increased their risk of being institutionalized and created complications for them in the MSA. Despite the limitations of this study, future research applying a modified BoC could lead to otherwise unknown information about the lived experiences of institutionalized patients in historic institutions of care.

Available for download on Wednesday, May 15, 2024