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International Journal of Paleopathology

Emilio González-Reimers, Emilio González-Arnay, María Castañeyra-Ruiz, Matilde Arnay-de-la-Rosa
Tiny calcified structures may be occasionally recovered during excavation of human skeletal remains. Since taphonomic processes may displace these structures from their topographical relation with neighbouring organs or bones, differential diagnoses may pose a major challenge to the archeologist and/or anthropologist. Enteroliths, kidney stones or gallstones, phleboliths, calcified ganglia, or sesamoid bones account for most of such calcified tiny structures. In addition to their pure medical/paleopathological interest, some remains may be related to diet, to chronic haemolytic conditions, and/or to infections or chronic intestinal diseases...
June 22, 2018: International Journal of Paleopathology
Lars Krutak
This essay describes the potential for using ethnographic evidence and mummified tattooed skin to reflect on past therapeutic tattoo practice in the Arctic. It also considers the ways in which circumpolar concepts of disease emerged in relation to the agency of nonhuman entities. I argue that specific forms of curative tattooing offer interpretive models for the paleopathological and bioarchaeological study of care through an ontological framework of analysis.
June 12, 2018: International Journal of Paleopathology
J A Suby, P Novellino, G Da Peña, C D Pandiani
The odontoid process of the axis can be affected by congenital or acquired pathologies. While abnormalities such as os odontoideum, agenesis, and fractures are reported in archaeological remains, the abnormality of an elongated length of the odontoid process has not been described in the paleopathological literature. The aim of this paper is to evaluate two individuals with elongated odontoid processes from a skeletal assemblage from the B6 archaeological site (Mendoza, Argentina), and to discuss the possible etiologies of the condition, with particular attention given to the relation to trauma and Crowned Dens Syndrome (CDS), a condition characterized by the ossification of ligaments of the odontoid process of the second cervical vertebra...
June 12, 2018: International Journal of Paleopathology
Stephanie Panzer, Randall C Thompson, Klaus Hergan, Albert R Zink, Dario Piombino-Mascali
The authors report on the assessment of an anthropogenic mummy of a young man from the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, tentatively dated from the mid- to late 19th century AD. The mummy was investigated by full-body CT examination. CT images clearly showed aortic dissection classified as Stanford-A. Due to the relation of aortic dissection to inherited connective tissue diseases in young people, such as Marfan syndrome, conspicuous and pathological findings possibly indicating the presence of underlying Marfan syndrome were assessed...
June 8, 2018: International Journal of Paleopathology
Rachel Schats, Menno Hoogland, Andrea Waters-Rist
Despite recent considerable gains, our knowledge of cancer in antiquity is still limited. This paper discusses an adult individual from a Dutch medieval hospital site who demonstrates osteoblastic and osteolytic lesions on the ribs, scapula, clavicle, and vertebrae. The morphology, radiographic appearance, and distribution of the skeletal lesions suggest that this individual was affected by metastatic carcinoma. This case increases the number of publications that present an osteoblastic and osteolytic response to cancer and contributes to the body of evidence for archaeological neoplastic disease...
June 7, 2018: International Journal of Paleopathology
Michaela Binder, Leslie Quade
On the 21st -22nd of May1809 Napoleon Bonaparte saw his first major defeat on land at the Battle of Aspern, just north-east of Vienna. Of the 167,000 soldiers who fought for the French and Austrian armies, a total of 55,000 died on the battlefield. Salvage excavations prior to the construction of large urban development project (2008-2016) have revealed several burial sites related to the Battle of Aspern. The skeletal remains of 30 soldiers were excavated and underwent a detailed bioarchaeological study to elucidate both the impact of 19th-century military conditions on soldiers in life, as well as how they died on the battlefield...
June 7, 2018: International Journal of Paleopathology
Vivien G Standen, Calogero M Santoro, Bernardo Arriaza, Daniela Valenzuela, Drew Coleman, Susana Monsalve
A review of the bioarchaeological collections from the site Morro de Arica in northern Chile allowed the identification of two cases of human polydactyly. Both cases are from the Chinchorro culture, hunters, fishers, and gatherers with a maritime orientation who inhabited the coast of the Atacama Desert (9000-3400 BP). Additionally, the analyses of 75 rock art sites in the area, from the Formative to Late Intermediate Periods (3000-550 BP), allowed the identification of hands and feet with six digits. Given the bioarchaeological record of polydactyly, it is highly probable that the rock art images were based on real individuals with polydactyly...
June 1, 2018: International Journal of Paleopathology
A M Silva, T Tomé, C Cunha, J d'Oliveira Coelho, A C Valera, V Filipe, G R Scott
In 2009, a pit burial dated to the Bronze Age was excavated in Monte do Gato de Cima 3 (Portugal). The purpose of this paper is to describe the pathological absence of the left mandibular condyle noted in an adult male skeleton and to discuss possible diagnoses, including subcondylar fracture, cystic defect, congenital absence, condylar aplasia and mandibular condylysis. The most likely explanation for the pathological alteration is subcondylar fracture with non-union. Although the occurrence of non-union and slight osteoarthritic alterations in the left glenoid fossa were evident, this mandible was likely functional, as can be inferred from dental wear and muscle attachment sites...
May 29, 2018: International Journal of Paleopathology
Jelmer W Eerkens, Ruth V Nichols, Gemma G R Murray, Katherine Perez, Engel Murga, Phil Kaijankoski, Jeffrey S Rosenthal, Laurel Engbring, Beth Shapiro
Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) of ancient dental calculus samples from a prehistoric site in San Francisco Bay, CA-SCL-919, reveals a wide range of potentially pathogenic bacteria. One older adult woman, in particular, had high levels of Neisseria meningitidis and low levels of Haemophilus influenzae, species that were not observed in the calculus from three other individuals. Combined with the presence of incipient endocranial lesions and pronounced meningeal grooves, we interpret this as an ancient case of meningococcal disease...
May 25, 2018: International Journal of Paleopathology
Stephanie E Calce, Helen K Kurki, Darlene A Weston, Lisa Gould
This study examined the simultaneous impact of multiple underlying factors on OA expression in weight-bearing joints of the vertebrae and lower limb of a modern European skeletal sample (Lisbon and Sassari). OA was evaluated using standard ranked categorical scoring; composite OA scores derived through principal component analysis. Body size was calculated from postcranial measurements; torsional strength (J) of the femoral midshaft was calculated from three-dimensional surface models, size standardized and used as a proxy for activity...
April 18, 2018: International Journal of Paleopathology
Edward J Odes, Lucas K Delezene, Patrick S Randolph-Quinney, Jacqueline S Smilg, Tanya N Augustine, Kudakwashe Jakata, Lee R Berger
The reported incidence of neoplasia in the extinct hominin record is rare. We describe here the first palaeopathological analysis of an osteogenic lesion in the extinct hominin Homo naledi from Dinaledi Cave (Rising Star), South Africa. The lesion presented as an irregular bony growth, found on the right lingual surface of the body of the adult mandible U.W. 101-1142. The growth was macroscopically evaluated and internally imaged using micro-focus x-ray computed tomography (μCT). A detailed description and differential diagnosis were undertaken using gross and micromorphology, and we conclude that the most probable diagnosis is peripheral osteoma - a benign osteogenic neoplasia...
June 2018: International Journal of Paleopathology
Casey L Kirkpatrick, Roselyn A Campbell, Kathryn J Hunt, Jennifer L Willoughby
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 2018: International Journal of Paleopathology
Catrina Banks Whitley, Jeffrey L Boyer
Ancestral Puebloan people in the North American Southwest suffered high rates of disease, poor health, and early age-at-death. Four individuals with skeletal expressions of cancer were found in a pre-Columbian population in the Taos Valley - Reports of malignant neoplasms in the archaeological record are uncommon and their presence in four of 82 individuals is a high occurrence. This study continues Whitley and Boyer's (2012) research testing whether concentrations of ionizing radiation were sufficiently high to induce cancer and related health issues...
June 2018: International Journal of Paleopathology
Nicole E Smith-Guzmán, Jeffrey A Toretsky, Jason Tsai, Richard G Cooke
We present a rare case of primary bone cancer principally affecting the right humerus of a skeleton from the pre-Columbian site of Cerro Brujo (1265-1380 CE) in Bocas del Toro, on the Caribbean coast of Panamá, excavated in the early 1970s. The humerus contains a dense, calcified sclerotic mass with associated lytic lesions localized around the midshaft of the diaphysis. Evidence of systemic inflammation and anemia, likely caused by the cancer, are visible in the form of severe porotic hyperostosis of the cranial vault and bilateral periosteal reactions in the tibiae...
June 2018: International Journal of Paleopathology
Casey L Kirkpatrick, Roselyn A Campbell, Kathryn J Hunt
This article serves as an introduction to the International Journal of Paleopathology's special issue, Paleo-oncology: Taking Stock and Moving Forward. Reflecting the goals of the special issue, this paper has been designed to provide an overview of the current state of paleo-oncology, to introduce new and innovative paleo-oncological research and ideas, and to serve as a catalyst for future discussions and progress. This paper begins with an overview of the paleo-oncological evidence that can be found in ancient remains, followed by a summary of significant paleo-oncological findings and methodological advances to date...
June 2018: International Journal of Paleopathology
Carolyn Rando, Tony Waldron
An elderly male skeleton from a site in Chichester, UK, was found with a widespread periosteal reaction, principally affecting the axial skeleton and the pelvis. Radiography showed the presence of sclerosing infiltrates, mainly involving the lumbar vertebrae and pelvis. The differential diagnosis is discussed, reaching the conclusion that hypertrophic osteo-arthopathy (HOA) is the only reasonable alternative condition likely to produce such a widespread periosteal reaction as found here. HOA does not produce secondary deposits in the skeleton, however, and we conclude that his is most likely a case of prostatic carcinoma...
June 2018: International Journal of Paleopathology
Paul W Ewald
Cancers have been reported in bone and soft tissue of ancient agricultural populations. Fossilized bones from prehistoric periods provide evidence of tumors but only one example of cancer. Difficulties in diagnosing the causes of lesions in mummified tissue and fossilized bone, and in interpreting the prevalence of cancers from remains, draw attention to the need for complementary approaches to assess the occurrence of cancer in ancient populations. This paper integrates current knowledge about pathogen induction of cancer with phylogenetic analyses of oncogenic pathogens, and concludes that pathogen-induced cancers were probably generally present in ancient historic and prehistoric human populations...
June 2018: International Journal of Paleopathology
Claudine Abegg, Jocelyne Desideri
We present the case of an individual from the Simon Identified Skeletal Collection (Vaud, Switzerland) who appears to have been affected by a form of neoplastic disease. A detailed description and differential diagnosis of the lesions was conducted and is presented here. Considering the biological profile of the individual, the distribution of the lesions, and their appearance, a case is made for multiple myeloma as the most likely diagnosis. This case study demonstrates the importance of adopting a detailed approach for recording the metric and non-metric traits of lesions, using multiple methods of analysis, and providing graphic and photographic documentation in order to provide valuable comparison material through publication...
June 2018: International Journal of Paleopathology
Bruce D Ragsdale, Roselyn A Campbell, Casey L Kirkpatrick
Unlike modern diagnosticians, a paleopathologist will likely have only skeletonized human remains without medical records, radiologic studies over time, microbiologic culture results, etc. Macroscopic and radiologic analyses are usually the most accessible diagnostic methods for the study of ancient skeletal remains. This paper recommends an organized approach to the study of dry bone specimens with reference to specimen radiographs. For circumscribed lesions, the distribution (solitary vs. multifocal), character of margins, details of periosteal reactions, and remnants of mineralized matrix should point to the mechanism(s) producing the bony changes...
June 2018: International Journal of Paleopathology
Andreas G Nerlich
This paper reviews the current knowledge on molecular paleopathology with respect to oncological information. This covers both the information on the protein level (proteome) as well as the gene level (genome) and includes data on carcinogenic factors - such as molecular evidence for oncogenic viral infections. Currently, relatively little data is available for neoplastic disease in paleopathology. Likewise, few studies describe the biochemical or immunohistochemical analysis of tumors - a tool to potentially classify the tumor type and the underlying primary tumor in metastases...
June 2018: International Journal of Paleopathology
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