Article

The burial ground of Neumarkt an der Ybbs. Pathological cases from the Early Bronze Age: One-eyed - Deaf - Limping - Metastases

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Abstract

Anthropological examination of the early Bronze Age cemetery at Neumarkt on the Ybbs River revealed 75 individuals: 32 adults (17 men and 15 women), one juvenile, 38 children (4 months - 13 yrs.), two foetuses and two undetermined skeletal remains. The average age at death was calculated as 42.5 yrs. for men (Standard Deviation [[]SD] 8.6), 35.8 yrs. for women (SD 11.4), 9.3 yrs. for Infans II (SD 1.5), 3.7 yrs. for Infans I (SD 1.9) and 9-10 lunar months for foetuses. Despite the bad preservation of the skeletal remains, some diseases and peculiarities could be detected such as the loss of the right eye by one male several years before death; congenital malformation with deafness of both ears in a seven-year-old child and his or her death due to meningitis; purulent inflammation of the bone marrow with destruction of the left ankle of a man who was buried in a non-normal way; and early metastases due to cancer in a young woman. Proof was obtained by X-ray examination and macroscopic differential diagnosis, as well as the study of thin sections of undecalcified bone embedded in resin. Special histological light microscopic and microradiographic methods were applied. The evaluation was interdisciplinary and took place in cooperation with the archaeologist working on the materials.

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