Apparently-articular facets on the undersurface of the anterior third of the acromion have been known in skeletal material since 1922 but without full discussion of the mechanism responsible. Twelve instances are described here, selected because an impingement area could be demonstrated on the greater tubercle of the humerus or on osteophytes that had replaced it. Both sides were affected but, with two exceptions, the right more severely; the less affected side could be regarded as an earlier stage. All were affected by osteoarthrosis. One was complicated by coraco-humeral impingement.The anatomical mechanism that normally prevents the humerus from rising against the coraco-acromial arch is described as well as the causes of the breakdown in the mechanism that leads to the impingement, derived largely from the clinical field, where the disorder is well-known.The complexity of the relation of the disorder to degenerative arthrosis is discussed because the degeneration is an age change in which wear and tear plays a localized part and the changes as they affect the shoulder joint differ fundamentally from those in the weight-bearing hip-joint. The mean estimated age of the group of twelve was 59 years but the occurrence of the acromion impingement disorder in young athletes illustrates the part played by mechanical joint abuse.Women predominated in this small group, partly because, through their longer life-spans, their joints were exposed longer to the susceptible period of age-related degeneration and also because their less robust musculo-skeletal systems were less adapted than men's to the equally shared labour. Two traditional women's tasks, corn-grinding and tweed-shrinking, are shoulder stressful.
Archaeological and zooarchaeological data indicate that camelid pastoralism was a subsistence and economic mainstay of Middle Horizon and more recent cultures in the Osmore region of southern Peru. However, it is not known whether camelids were primarily herded in highland puna pastures or near lower elevation sites in the middle valley or along the coast. This research examines the elevation of archaeological camelid herding in the Osmore Valley using stable isotope analysis. Stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope ratios were measured on 28 archaeological camelid bone samples from the Middle Horizon sites of Cerro Baúl and Cerro Mejía, the Late Intermediate site of Yaral and the late pre-Hispanic to Colonial period site of Torata Alta. Twenty-three archaeological camelids have δ13C and δ15N values similar to five modern camelids maintained in highland puna pastures. In contrast, three camelids from the high status Wari site of Cerro Baúl, and two from Yaral have unexpectedly high δ13C and/or δ15N values outside the expected range for camelids pastured in highland puna habitats. The results may be explained by differences in foddering practices, altitudinal herding range or climatic conditions. Strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) were also assessed to infer pasture elevation using the camelid remains from Cerro Baúl (n=11). One individual in this sub-sample exhibits a non-local 87Sr/86Sr value indicative of an origin in the highland puna region east or south of Lake Titicaca. It was not possible to further distinguish between camelids herded in lower to middle elevation habitats outside the Lake Titicaca basin using 87Sr/86Sr values. This study suggests that multiple isotope proxies may be used to identify animals primarily pastured in lowland coastal versus highland puna (>4000masl (meters above sea level)) habitats, but are less useful at distinguishing between animals pastured in lower to middle elevation settings.
A separation across the acromion is found in 3–8 per cent of adults and can be fibrous union of a fracture, or non-union of the epiphysis. The only descriptions, based on dissected specimens, derive from the last century and show that the separations are pseudarthroses, or intra-acromial joints, with synovial cavities. Examples occur of double epiphyses with two joints.
Eleven skeletalized examples, two bilateral and two through the acromio-clavicular articular facet, are described. The moderately congruent surfaces of separation showed features consistent with pseudarthrosis but gave no indication of any consistent type of movement in the joints. It is concluded that all were probably due to non-union of the epiphysis although, especially as they occurred in a population in which injuries were commonplace, some could have derived from fractures.
One specimen showed evidence of derangement of the shoulder joint, with impingement of the greater tuberosity of the humerus against the undersurface of the free part of the acromion producing eburnated attrition facets.
We report a possible rheumatoid arthritis (RA) case found in a Korean Joseon Dynasty (1392–1910) tomb encapsulated by a lime-soil mixture barrier (LSMB). The tomb is thought to have been constructed during the 1700s AD (1760 AD by carbon dating). In our anthropological examination, joint destruction, erosion or fusion (signs of polyarthritis) were identified mainly in the peripheral skeleton. Especially in both sides of the wrist bones, severe destruction/joint fusion possibly caused by polyarthritis was observed. A similar polyarthritis pattern also was seen in the right foot bones, even though we failed to confirm this symmetry due to the missing left foot bones. Despite these findings, signs suggestive of polyarthritis are very rarely seen in axial bones, even though bony fusions are found in the atlanto-occipital joint or thoracic vertebrae (TV) 9–10.
By the osteological signs observed in this case, the individual, a female, might have been suffering from a very late stage of RA and died in her 40s, even though other forms of chronic arthritis could not be ruled out completely. Though the current case could not provide evidence to decisively settle the debates on the antiquity of RA, our report could be a stepping stone for forthcoming studies on RA cases found in East Asian countries. Copyright
Chenque I site is a prehistoric cemetery located in Lihué Calel National Park (La Pampa province) in the Western Pampean region of Argentina. Hunter-gatherer societies made use of this site during the Final Late Holocene for at least 700 years (1030–370 BP). Currently 41 burial structures have been excavated, and more than 150 individuals have been recovered. There is great variability in mortuary patterns at the site (simple, multiple, primary, secondary burials, and also a variant not previously observed in the region).
The life-ways of this population have been investigated through the evaluation of several biological and cultural factors. Several pathological conditions have also been identified in this cemetery. Burial no. 12 contains a skeleton of an adult male that shows multiple pathological lesions, compatible with a neoplastic disease. These lesions have been analysed using several methodological strategies: macroscopic, radiological and microscopic. This is the first time that this kind of disease has been identified from a prehistoric burial in Argentina.
In this paper the location and characteristics of the lesions are evaluated, and the different neoplastic diseases that could have produced them are discussed. Since the people buried in this cemetery belonged to highly mobile societies, a key issue is to infer the consequences that this disease would have had on the dynamics of the group in which this person lived, because of the gradual deterioration of his health and physical strength. Copyright
The analysis of the skeletal remains of Ohalo II man, aged 30–40 years at death and dated to 19 000 years BP, shows advanced and highly unusual ossification of the lower costosternal cartilage; the right humerus is morphologically larger and considerably more robust than the left; degenerative changes were noted unilaterally in the right glenohumeral, acromioclavicular and claviculosternal joints. There is a marked asymmetry of the atlas, axis and occipital condyles. The changes in the costochondral area of the lower anterior rib cage are considered to represent an infectious chronic osteomyelitic process. The marked discrepancy in size between the left and right shoulder girdles and humeri, and the evidence of degenerative disease exclusively on one side only may be the result of a traumatic brachial plexus nerve palsy. The asymmetrical atlas and axis are most probably anatomical variants that do not reflect clinical pathology.
A skull from the St Bride's collection showing evidence of gunshot wounds is described. The position of the wounds suggests that they were self-inflicted. Examination of historical records confirms that the individual committed suicide by shooting himself in the mouth. The fact that this individual was buried in the crypt of St Bride's church in 1821 is discussed in relation to early 19th century attitudes to suicide.
Dental health may deteriorate in populations exposed to economic growth as a result of easier access to refined carbohydrates and sugars. Such changes affected migrant labourers working in Kimberley, South Africa, during the late 19th century. A rescue excavation salvaged several skeletons from pauper's graves dating from this period, and the purpose of the study was to assess their dental health to determine whether it concurs with historical statements suggesting that the skeletal population sample being investigated was migrant labourers with limited access to a healthy diet. According to historic sources their diets mainly consisted of ground carbohydrates and occasional meat.
The permanent dentition of 79 males and 13 females (majority between 20 and 49 years of age) were examined. Carious lesions were observed in 57% of males and 46.2% of females with an average of 2.7 and 3.8 carious teeth per mouth. The anterior teeth were significantly less affected than the posterior teeth. Periodontal granulomata (‘abscesses’) were observed in 17.7% of males and 15.4% of females, and periodontal disease affected 40% of those investigated. Antemortem tooth loss (AMTL) was recorded in 29% (N = 27) of the sample with an average of 3.5 teeth lost per mouth.
It was concluded that the prevalence of dental caries, periapical granulomata and periodontal disease as well as the pattern of AMTL observed concurs with dietary descriptions for paupers in historical documents. The relatively low prevalence of carious lesions can be ascribed to the limited time migrant labourers spent in Kimberley and the labour restrictions they had to comply with during their stay in the compounds. Copyright