46th Congress of the International
Society for the History of Medicine
3-7 September 2018
Preliminary notes on a human
Veronica Papa1,2,3, Elena Varotto3,4, Silvio del Pizzo2,5, Salvatore Troisi2,5,
Fabiana Di Ciaccio2,5, Silvia Sofia Staiano3, Carmine Lubritto6, Stefano
Vanin7, Mauro Vaccarezza8,9
and Francesco Maria Galassi3,4
1Department of Sport Sciences and Wellness, University of Naples “Parthenope”, Naples, Italy; 2School of Science, Engineering and Health, University of Naples “Parthenope”, Naples, Italy; 3Forensic
Anthropology, Paleopathology, and Bioarchaeology (FAPAB) Research Center, Avola, Italy; 4Flinders University, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Archaeology, Adelaide 5001, SA, Australia;
5Department of Sciences and Technologies, University of Naples “Parthenope” Naples, Italy; 6Department of Environmental, Biological and Pharmaceutical Science and Technology University of Campania
“Luigi Vanvitelli,” Caserta, Italy; 7Departmenf of Life Science, Environment and Earth (DiSTAV), University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy; 8Curtin Medical School, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University, Bentley,
Perth, Western Australia, Australia; 9Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI), Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University, Bentley, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
The Church of Santa
Luciella ai Librai
•The small church, located in the
Old Town of Naples, dates back to
the 14th century.
•It is a 3-storey building consisting
of a hypogeum which is accessed
from the sacristy through a
The eared skull
•The skull is located on a
shelf on the eastern wall of
•It resembles the memento mori
a mosaic from Pompei,
exhibited at MANN
(Archaeological) in Naples
The purpose of this study was:
•to detail the unique case of the so-
called eared-skull, which is
currently exhibited in the
hypogeum of the musealised
Church of Santa Luciella ai Librai
in Naples (Italy).
We used a multidisciplinary approach
Here we report some preliminary
•The preserved skull consists of the neurocranium, while most of its
splanchnocranium is absent, and only the nasal bones are present
•Anthropological methods to determine sex and estimate age
demonstrated that the skull was that of an adult male.
the absence of the
sagittal suture and
•The temporal bones were outwardly rotated, which had
been wrongly assumed to be mummified auricular
structures in the past.
•Human remains in the hypogeum were radiocarbon tested 14C 1631-
•Entomological analysis of soil samples revealed species of insects
associated with body decomposition as well as with wooden coffins.
Radiocarbon dating & Entomological analysis
setup was realized
bars on the
survey scene, and
software was used
to produce a
digital 3D model
•Here we reported the preliminary results from the study of a
human eared skull.
•This study used a multidisciplinary approach combining
photogrammetric elaboration and palaepathological observation.
•The application of the anthropological methods revealed that the
skull was that of an adult male.
•Since only the coronal suture was clearly visible, a more precise
range for age at death of this individual cannot be estimated.
•The squamous portion of the temporal bone were outwardly
rotated on both sides, therefore forming ear-like structures.
Acknowledgments: We wish to thank the Associazione Respiriamo Arte for giving us the opportunity to study the