A sample of 303 skeletons from the Etruscan necropolis of Spina (Ferrara, Italy, 6th–3rd centuries BC) was examined for paleopathological lesions in order to assess the general health, diseases and quality of life of this Iron Age population. The observed pathologies included porotic hyperostosis, specific and aspecific infections, metabolic and endocrine disorders, tumours and osteoarthritis. A total of 46.7% of adults and 7.7% of subadults showed at least one pathological lesion. Statistical comparisons were made between sexes and adult-age classes (20–35 years and >35 years) to analyse the prevalence of the lesions. The analysis of porotic hyperostosis and osteoperiostitis allowed to determine the general health status of this group, and the analysis of osteoarthritis allowed to hypothesise a gender division of labour. The results suggest a relatively high-life expectancy for the time as well as good health and quality of life. The few specific infections and metabolic disorders indicate fairly good nutrition, while the high frequency of porotic hyperostosis can be partly linked to some type of hereditary anaemia.

Health Patterns of the Etruscan Population (6th-3rd Centuries bc) in Northern Italy: The Case of Spina

MANZON, Vanessa Samantha;GUALDI, Emanuela
2015

Abstract

A sample of 303 skeletons from the Etruscan necropolis of Spina (Ferrara, Italy, 6th–3rd centuries BC) was examined for paleopathological lesions in order to assess the general health, diseases and quality of life of this Iron Age population. The observed pathologies included porotic hyperostosis, specific and aspecific infections, metabolic and endocrine disorders, tumours and osteoarthritis. A total of 46.7% of adults and 7.7% of subadults showed at least one pathological lesion. Statistical comparisons were made between sexes and adult-age classes (20–35 years and >35 years) to analyse the prevalence of the lesions. The analysis of porotic hyperostosis and osteoperiostitis allowed to determine the general health status of this group, and the analysis of osteoarthritis allowed to hypothesise a gender division of labour. The results suggest a relatively high-life expectancy for the time as well as good health and quality of life. The few specific infections and metabolic disorders indicate fairly good nutrition, while the high frequency of porotic hyperostosis can be partly linked to some type of hereditary anaemia.
2015
Manzon, Vanessa Samantha; Gualdi, Emanuela
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2340672
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