Research uncovers Revolutionary War hero's intersex secret


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  • newswise-fullscreen Research uncovers Revolutionary War hero's intersex secret

    Credit: Marcin K./Wikimedia Commons

    Casimir Pulaski

There is an unusual twist in the story about American Revolutionary War hero Casimir Pulaski. Researchers have discovered that the Polish-born Pulaski, who was named brigadier general by George Washington, may actually have been female.

Charles Merbs, a former bioarchaeologist at Arizona State University, was one of the first people to make this discovery in the late 1990s. Upon exhumation of Pulaski's skeletal remains for a monument build, Merbs and now late colleague Karen Burns of the University of Georgia were able to examine the bones and determine that "the skeleton is about as female as can be." Sworn to secrecy for years after the discovery, Merbs kept his findings classified - until recently.

The archaeologist, who also has ancestral ties to Pulaski, will be mentioned in a forthcoming published article on the discovery in the Journal of Forensic Anthroplogy. Merbs and Burns also received acknowledgements in the new documentary “America’s Hidden Stories: The General Was Female?” that debuted on the Smithsonian Channel on April 8th, 2019.

Charles Merbs is available to discuss this fascinating anthropological discovery. 

 

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