From James Rudall1    31 January 1872


The bones placed in my hands for examination consist of a number of weather-worn fragments — altogether more than 200 pieces.

The largest fragment, of irregular oblong shape measured about 2 1/2 (two and a half inches) by 2" (two inches) and its greatest thickness was about 4''' (four lines) — it looks like a portion of the vault of the skull; it is much altered by atmospheric influences, and has a worm eaten appearance. One remarkable piece is almost certainly part of a human petrous bone of the left side showing the internal auditory meatus and part of the jugular fossa.

Another piece was apparently part of the corresponding (petrous) bone of the opposite side. Other small fragments seemed to be parts of the spheroid bone.

There are besides portions of bone which I must suppose to be parts of vertebrae (of body and arch) and parts of long bones (fibula? clavicle? femur etc.)

The largest fragment of a long bone was about 2 1/2" (two and a half inches) in length, from 7''' (seven lines) to 9''' (nine lines) in width and 3''' (three lines) to 4''' (four lines) in thickness.

Two fragments of cancellous bone each with part of an articulating surface remind me strongly of the glenoid cavity of the scapula.

Several pieces of the long bones have their ends even and smooth.

It is my belief that all these pieces of bone are parts of a human skeleton, and I incline to think of the skeleton of a tall man.


James T Rudall



Jan 31st, 1872.

MS marked 'Copy' and written by unknown. M is assumed to be the addressee, because of the reference to bones in M to H. Rawlinson, 1 February 1872 (in this edition as 72-02-01a).

Please cite as “FVM-72-01-31a,” in Correspondence of Ferdinand von Mueller, edited by R.W. Home, Thomas A. Darragh, A.M. Lucas, Sara Maroske, D.M. Sinkora, J.H. Voigt and Monika Wells accessed on 28 November 2022,