SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: International journal of paleopathology

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Skeletons sampled for ancient human DNA analysis are sometimes complete enough to provide information about the lives of the people they represent. We focus on three Later Stone Age skeletons, ca. 2000 B.P., from coastal KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, whose ancient genomes have been sequenced (Schlebusch et al., 2017).

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This paper discusses the differential diagnosis of an unusual calcified mass found in the pelvic cavity of 45+-year-old female excavated from 15th-18th century Lisbon (Portugal). The mass is relatively large, irregularly shaped, and exhibits a concave base with malformed teeth embedded within its inner surface. Considering its macroscopic and radiological characteristics, several conditions were considered in the differential diagnosis, namely eccyesis, fetus in fetu, lithopaedion, and ovarian teratoma. However, the morphological features of the specimen, such as its structure, morphology, and dimensions, are diagnostic of a teratoma. Its location and the sex of the individual are more specifically compatible with a calcified ovarian teratoma. With regional and temporal variations in the frequency of tumours, the report of new cases becomes imperative, especially from geographic regions where few cases have been identified. In fact, this appears to be the first case of ovarian teratoma detected in the Portuguese archaeological record and adds to the few palaeopathological cases described in the osteoarchaeological literature worldwide.

Concepts: Medical terms, Portugal, Medical diagnosis, Differential diagnosis, Teratoma, Portuguese people, Portuguese language, Fetus in fetu

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This paper explores the potential of analyzing pathological lesions and entheseal changes in the identification of working reindeer.

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Trauma associated with slaughter is identified occasionally archaeologically in the cranial remains of domesticated animals, with evidence for pole-axing occurring in Europe, especially from the Roman period onwards. The injury typically extends through the frontal bone and sinuses to penetrate the braincase, causing haemorrhage, loss of consciousness, brain damage, and death. Evidence for slaughter methods in the British Neolithic, however, is lacking. We report such evidence from a healed blunt-force impact trauma to the frontal bone of a domestic cattle skull from Beckhampton Road Neolithic long barrow, Wiltshire. The injury suggests a failed attempt at slaughter. To our knowledge, this is the first such report for domestic cattle from the British Neolithic. We contextualise this discovery, drawing on research into the role and meaning of faunal remains from Neolithic long barrows in Wiltshire. This work has been undertaken from a posthuman perspective. Thus, we demonstrate the opportunities for paleopathologists to inform and engage within posthumanist interpretative frameworks.

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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. These tumours are cryptic in clinical expression, though they may present localised discomfort and swelling. It has been suggested that muscle traction may play a role in the development and expression of these tumours. The impact of this lesion on the individual affected is unknown. This study adds to the growing corpus of palaeopathological data from the South African fossil record, which suggests that the incidence of neoplastic disease in deep prehistory was more prevalent than traditionally accepted. The study also highlights the utility of micro-computed tomography in assisting accurate diagnoses of ancient pathologies.

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This study–> provides a baseline of pathological and sub-pathological changes in the lower-limb bones of a semi-feral herd of domestic cattle. The purpose is to refine an existing method for identifying the use of cattle for traction using zooarchaeological evidence.

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Differential diagnosis and tabulation of cases of dental agenesis in Middle and Upper Paleolithic Western Eurasian humans to synthesize this data and to test previous hypotheses about when recent human patterns of third molar agenesis were established.

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To reconstruct the etiology of a perimortem injury observed on a Neolithic - Chalcolithic cranium (5060 - 4400 yrs cal. BP).

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Paleopathological evidence of cancer from past populations is rare, especially outside of Europe and North Africa. This study expands upon the current temporal and spatial distribution of cancer by presenting a probable case of multiple myeloma from Bronze Age China.

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This research explores how social and environmental factors may have contributed to conflict during the early Bronze Age in Northwest China by analyzing violent trauma on human skeletal remains from a cemetery of the Qijia culture (2300-1500 BCE). The Qijia culture existed during a period of dramatic social, technological, and environmental change, though minimal research has been conducted on how these factors may have contributed to violence within the area of the Qijia and other contemporaneous material cultures. An osteological assessment was conducted on 361 individuals (n = 241 adults, n = 120 non-adults) that were excavated from the Mogou site, Lintan County, Gansu, China. Injuries indicative of violence, including sharp- and blunt-force trauma that was sustained ante- or peri-mortem, were identified, and the patterns of trauma were analysed. Violent injuries were found on 8.58% (n = 31/361) of individuals, primarily adult males. No evidence of trauma was found on infants or children. Cranial trauma was found on 11.8% (n = 23/195) of the adult individuals examined. Of these, 43.5% (n = 10/23) presented with severe peri-mortem craniofacial trauma. The high rate of perimortem injuries and their locations indicate lethal intent. This lethality, in addition to the fact that individuals with trauma were predominantly male, suggest intergroup violence such as raiding, warfare, or feuding. Both social and environmental factors may have contributed to this conflict in the TaoRiver Valley, though future systematic archaeological and paleoenvironmental data will be needed to disentangle the many potential causal factors.