Skeletal pathology of a high-ranking official from Thrace (Turkey, last quarter of the 4th century BC)

Ozbek M.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OSTEOARCHAEOLOGY, vol.15, no.3, pp.216-225, 2005 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/oa.777
  • Page Numbers: pp.216-225


A male human skeleton from Thrace dated at around 320 BC was found in a wealthy tomb 12km from what is now Tekirdag\, Turkey. The occupant of the tomb died at the age of 40-45 years and has a pathologic left humerus caused most probably by traumatic injury. It is 9 cm shorter than the right humerus. A drainage fistula penetrating into the medullary cavity occurs at its proximal end. Due to severe arthritic destruction, the left humeral head has completely lost normal articulation, with the glenoid cavity of the left scapula displaying, in turn, severe erosive lesions and important reduction in its articular surface. A marked abscess is discernible bilaterally on the chondro-costal sternal end. The individual also has a hip with a total sacroiliac joint fusion and shows slight or moderately developed exostoses on different parts of his skeleton. These joint destructions most likely indicate that he suffered from chronic osteomyelitis and septic arthritis. Copyright (c) 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.