Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Simona Minozzi, et al., Gout and Dwarfism: Two Bioarchaeological Articles on Imperial Romans

In this episode, Sarah reads two open-access palaeopathology articles.

Simona Minozzi, Federica Bianchi, Walter Pantano, Paola Catalano, Davide Caramella and Gino Fornaciari, (2013) "A Case of Gout from Imperial Rome (1st-2nd century AD)." J Clin Res Bioeth 4:4.

Abstract: The study of pathological alterations in ancient skeletal remains may contribute to the
reconstruction of the history of diseases and health conditions of ancient populations. Therefore, in recent research palaeopathology provides an important point of view in bioarchaeology and medicine. This work describes the bone alterations observed in the skeleton of an adult woman found during archaeological excavations in the greatest necropolis of the Imperial Age in Rome. The skeletal remains showed some pathological anomalies and the most evident alterations consisted of multiple osteolytic lesions involving mainly the small bones of the feet, which presented round cavitations and scarce signs of bone repair. Differential diagnosis suggests that this individual was affected by gout, probably associated with hypothyroidism that determined her short stature. 

Article Link.

S. Minozzi, A. Lunardini, P. Catalano, D. Caramella, G. Fornaciari, (2013) "Dwarfism in Imperial Rome: A Case of Skeletal Evidence." J Clin Res Bioeth 4:154.

[No Published Abstract]

This article explores a skeleton that shows signs of dwarfism excavated from the Collatina necropolis in eastern Rome. Skeletal evidence for dwarfism in this time period is extremely rare, and this find allows a bioarchaeological window into an occurrence largely known in antiquity from literature and art. Perhaps what was most interesting to me was the discussion toward the end of the article to do with the shift from acceptance to rejection of dwarfs between the Roman and Christian periods.

Article Link. 

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