Sadly, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 devastated the Moran Art Studio, but it did allow exploration of the rest of the site. Faculty and students from the University of Southern Mississippi conducted archaeological excavations from 2005 until 2012. In addition to the original twelve, 20 more burials were found, bringing the total number to 32. Most of the individuals interred were young adult males, with no juveniles and only two females present. Two of the individuals were buried in coffins, the rest being buried in shrouds. Few grave goods were recovered; most likely clothing and other possessions were passed on to the living. A humble crucifix of a design seen throughout the New France colonies was found with one young male.
Their skeletal remains tell the story of the harsh conditions in which their childhoods were spent, as evidenced by their generally short stature (5'4" average for males, 5'0" for females) as well as lesions on their teeth and long bones caused by repeated growth disruptions. One individual also showed signs of rickets. Surprisingly, indications of trauma were relatively infrequent. The causes of death, however, could not be determined. Malnutrition and disease likely took them before there was time for any effects to be "recorded" on their bones.
Middle photos: Archaeology
students from the University of Southern Mississippi carefully excavate settlers' remains from the site.
Bottom drawing: Layout of remains exhumed from the Moran Site from 2005-2012 by University of Southern Mississippi students.