image/svg+xml13 VII/1/2016 INTERDISCIPLINARIA ARCHAEOLOGICA NATURAL SCIENCES IN ARCHAEOLOGY homepage: http://www.iansa.eu Paleopathological, Trichological and Paleoparasitological Analysis of Human Skeletal Remains from the Migration Period Cemetery Prague-Zličín Lenka Vargová a , Ladislava Horáčková a , Marcela Horáková b* , Hana Eliášová c , Eva Myšková d , Oleg Ditrich d a Division of Medical Antropology, Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, Kamenice 3, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic b Labrys, o.p.s., Hloubětínská 16/11, 198 00 Praha 9, Czech Republic c Institute of Criminalistics Prague, Bartolomějská 347/14, 110 00 Praha, Staré Město, Czech Republic d University of South Bohemia, Faculty of Science, Department of Parasitology, Branišovská 1760, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic 1. Introduction The analysed human skeletal remains, classifed into the Vinařice cultural group of Germanic populations of the early stage of the Migration Period (5 th century) come from the Prague-Zličín area. The frst fndings about Vinařice graves were published in the 19 th century (Svoboda 1965). During the following periods, isolated graves as well as small family graveyards of ten to thirty graves were uncovered in various locations (Droberjar 2002); however, only fundamental archaeological methods were used to analyse the majority of them. No paleoanthropological nor health status research was performed.In central Europe, the Prague-Zličín Vinařice burial ground with its 173 graves is the largest uncovered burial site which has survived from this slightly researched period. The burial site was excavated in the form of a rescue excavation due to a projected construction in the years 2005 to 2008 (for detailed information about the excavation see Vávra et al. 2009; 2012; Vávra 2016). In addition to archaeological studies (Vávra et al. 2009; 2012), basic anthropological research of the human skeletal remains also took place (sex, age, preservation, body stature, Víšková et al. 2012). Other Volume VII ● Issue 1/2016 ● Peges 13–32 *Corresponding author. E-mail: horakova@labrys.cz ARTICLE INFO: Article history: Received: 11 th December 2015 Accepted: 26 th October 2016 Key words: Migration Period Vinařice cultural group paleopathologyinternal frontal hyperostosisbiparietal thinningcalcaneonavicular coalitiontrichologypaleoparasitology aDNA molecular methods ABSTRACT The study deals with the paleopathological analysis of human skeletal remains found in 173 Vinařice-cultural-group graves at Prague-Zličín from the early stage of the Migration Period (5 th century). Because the osteological collection was fragmentary, skeletal remains of only 113 individuals were analysed (26 men, 33 women, 19 children, and 6 adolescents; the sex of 29 adults remained unspecifed). Paleopathological diagnoses were grounded in macroscopic and X-ray examinations. Most frequently, skeletal remains showed progressive degenerative processes such as spondylosis (49.1%, evaluated cases n=53) and arthrosis (37.7%, evaluated cases n=69). Traces of healed traumas were detected in 8.8% (n=113) of all the preserved individuals. Demonstrations of infammatory symptoms were observed in 16.8%, (n=113) of the cases, out of which were two suspected cases of tuberculosis. Regarding neoplastic diseases, only two benign tumours (skull osteomas) were diagnosed (3.9%, evaluated cases n=51). Internal frontal hyperostosis, biparietal thinning, and calcaneonavicular coalition were detected only sporadically. Cribra orbitalia was detected in the eye sockets of 7.1% (n=28) of the evaluated cases. Trichological analyses dealt with 203 samples, most of them were of recent or animal origin; only in four cases ancient human hair was found. To date the samples from graves No. 4, 11, 100–173 have been analysed and results of this analysis are presented in this study. Destruction of historical hair shafts was manifested by ragged and cracked cuticle scales, absence of cuticle scales, longitudinal loosened shafts and especially transversal fragmentation of hair shafts. Hair also showed marked damage owing to keratinophilic organisms. No human ectoparasites were found. Paleoparasitological analyses dealt with 30 samples from grave fllings; specifcally from pelvic (n=16), head (n=1) and thoracic (n=13) area. Despite the very sensitive molecular methods we employed, no signs of parasitological DNA were found.
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2016 ● VII/1 ● 13–32Lenka Vargová, Ladislava Horáčková, Marcela Horáková, Hana Eliášová, Eva Myšková, Oleg Ditrich: Paleopathological, Trichological and Paleoparasitological Analysis of Human Skeletal Remains from the Migration Period Cemetery Prague-Zličín 14 work was by Kubálek and Malá (2011) but this focused only on a female face reconstruction of grave no. 78. These two studies are thus insufcient to provide an overall view of the health status of the Vinařice people. Comparative materials, such as are available, are the similarly dated skeletal collections (5 th century AD) from Munich-Perlach (Zintl, von Heyking 2016) and Horb-Altheim (Obertová 2008), which are also precisely anthropologically evaluated. These collections are smaller than the Prague-Zličín population, but are better preserved and provide quite good data sets. Independently, a detailed dental remains and microwear analysis was undertaken on the Prague-Zličín skeletal material (Jarošová 2016), providing substantial information about caries intensity, dental losses, enamel hypoplasia or dietary habits. Because of the fragmentary information concerning diseases of the Vinařice cultural group, this study is focused on a very detailed examination and medical description of each paleopathological fnding of skeletal material. This approach is unique for our country and given time period. For this reason we also employed trichological and parasitological analyses that would help us to study the health status. There was no specifc information concerning the occurrence of gastrointestinal or ectoparasites, so any information we might obtain would be a substantial contribution. The main goal of the trichological examination was to determine whether any historical human/animal hair occurred and, if so, to describe the structure of the human hair and perform a taxonomic determination of the animal hair. We also focused on the presence of human ectoparasites. In this study we have aimed to answer the following main questions: What can we say about the health status of the Vinařice people? Can we observe some sex or age diferences between male and female morbidity? Is it possible to fnd ancient human hairs in the grave fllings? Is it possible to recognise human ectoparasites e.g. head louse? Are the molecular methods able to capture DNA of intestinal parasites in the grave fllings? 2. Materials2.1 Palaeopathological analyses During archaeological excavations of the Prague-Zličín burial site, 173 graves (with 176 burials) were uncovered, revealing completely or partially decomposed skeletons. Thus, the osteological complex was mostly fragmentary, enabling the evaluation of the skeletal remains of only 113 individuals (26 men, 33 women, 19 children, and 6 adolescents; the sex of 29 adults could not be estimated). The paleopathological study resulted from the anthropological analysis was published in the work of Víšková (Víšková et al. 2012; Vávra et al. 2012, Table 1). 2.2 Trichological analyses sampling Some organic material was macroscopically observed in the head parts of grave infllings in graves No. 4 and 11. These two samples of this material were directly taken for trichological analyses. All other samples / material for trichological analyses were obtained after grave infllings fotation (334 samples). Material from every inflling layer was sampled: there were therefore more samples than graves (336 trichological samples from a total of 173 graves). 2.3 Parasitological analyses sampling Graves for parasitological analyses were selected at random, each sample being taken from a diferent grave. In total, 30 samples were taken, 16 samples from the pelvic area, 13 samples from thoracic area, and 1 sample from the head area.For detailed information on which graves were sampled for analyses, please see the summary table included in this IANSA issue (Vávra 2016). 3. Methods3.1 Paleopathological methods The usual medical diagnostic and evaluating methods and approaches were used, such as anamnesis, unbiased examination, working diagnosis, diferential diagnosis and fnal diagnosis. However, due to the nature of the paleomaterial, the application of some of these methods was limited. Personal anamnesis was therefore replaced by the standard paleoanthropological analysis of skeletons using anthropometric and morphoscopic methods. This enabled the estimation of biological age and gender, of body physique (based on skeleton robustness), as well as the variability of measurements.We searched for disease marks in a personal anamnesis / paleoanthropological analysis. We also used non-specifc stress marks on bones, such as Harris lines (Horáčková et al. 2004), cribra orbitalia (Møller-Christensen et al. Table 1. Basic demographic data of the Prague-Zličín population. Sex/age0–0.5 yr0.5–6 yrs7–14 yrs15–19 yrs20–30 yrs30–40 yrs40–50 yrs50–60 yrsAdults60+ yrsSummInfans IInfans IIInfans IIIJuvenisAdultus IAdultus IIMaturus IMaturus IISenilis Subadult 145 6 25Male 3 1 3 9 7 3 26 Female 1 2 4 713 4 2 33Indeterminated 8 8 3 5 5 29Summ0146111318251610 113
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2016 ● VII/1 ● 31–32Lenka Vargová, Ladislava Horáčková, Marcela Horáková, Hana Eliášová, Eva Myšková, Oleg Ditrich: Paleopathological, Trichological and Paleoparasitological Analysis of Human Skeletal Remains from the Migration Period Cemetery Prague-Zličín 15 1963; Hengen 1971; Horáčková et al. 2004), tooth enamel or dentin hypoplasia (Strouhal 2004). All these non-specifc marks can inform about the changes occuring in bones after some diseases that could not be identifed exactly.We did not analyse familial diseases due to the anonymous character of the studied material; the buried population was therefore analysed as a whole. The analyses started with standard paleoanthropological research followed by detailed macroscopic research. Based on that, we then evaluated if the discovered morphological changes in the bones represented some common variability deviations, or if they represented some disease. We described the exact position of all pathological nidi on the skeleton: their number, size, margins and general nature, and also photodocumented them.We focused on the distribution of these changes as some of the diseases are characterized by unifocal nidi and some by numerous locations of lesions over the skeleton.We evaluated the paleopathological fndings mainly in accordance to the methodological criteria of Steinbock (1976), Ortner and Putschar (1985), Vyhnánek et al. (1998), Aufderheide and Rodríguez-Martín (1998), Ortner (2003) and Horáčková et al. (2004). Bones were evaluated by naked eye, magnifying glass and also by microscope. In some cases where the fnding was sufciently typical, we have been able to determine the diagnosis after just a basic evaluation. In other cases, macroscopic evaluation was able to select a suspected case ( i.e. to determine a working diagnosis) suitable for determination by other fnancially-more-demanding methods and thus determine a fnal diagnosis ( i.e. diferential diagnostics). One such method was radiological examination, its use being necessary in cases of trauma, infammation and so on. X-Ray images were evaluated following the methodology of Vyhnánek et al. (1998). Some pathological lesions were compared with similar contemporary medical fndings (some of them in Smrčka et al. 2009) or with recent skeletal material (deposited in Pathologisch – Anatomisches Bundesmuseum in Wien) of known diagnosis determined by the most recent clinical methods. 3.2 Trichological methods Hairs were separated from the macro-remains material under the stereomicroscope. Firstly, coarse impurities (especially minute pebbles) were removed from the samples stored in plastic test-tubes. Subsequently, impurities stuck on the surface of the selected samples were displaced using weak detergent solution; samples were then rinsed with distilled water and ethanol (Baumgartner, Hill 1993). Initial examination of hairs and other material was by stereomicroscope, macroscopic characteristics such as length and form being recorded. Selected material was also mounted in the medium of parafn oil (refractive index 1.457). Specimens were examined using a compound light microscope Olympus BX 51 (transmitted light and polarized light) with magnifcation 200 – 400x. Microscopic photo documentation was taken with the use of a stereo microscope Olympus SZH 10.Firstly the origin of material was determined, e.g. human or animal, animal fbres, plant fbres, artifcial fbres, feathers or plant tissues (Teerink 2003; Appleyard 1978). Microscopic characteristics of human hair were documented: diameter; colour; presence; damage and pattern of cuticle; cortex characteristics – cellular texture; size and distribution of pigment granules; medulla pattern; characteristics of proximal part ( e.g. root absent – form of the end; root present – determination of development stage – anagen, catagen, telogen, Ogler, Fox 1999); characteristics of distal tip; and hair features obtained through environmental conditions or by artifcial treatments ( e.g. structural damage due to taphonomic factors, insect bites, mould attacks, bleaching, dying...) (Chang et al. 2005; Brothwell 2005). Mapping of the hair surface (present or absent cuticle scales, outer cuticle margins) and analyses of the surface impurities were realized by means of a scanning electron microscope. Hair samples were fxed on adhesive carbon targets and sputtered by gold in a SC500 device. Imaging documentation was taken using a scanning electron microscope Tescan Vega 5136XM in connection with an energy dispersive microanalyzer with characteristic radiation X-Link ISIS Series 300. Settings of the scanning electron microscope Tescan Vega 5136 XM were: accelerating voltage 20 kV; Probe Current (PC): 5–8; operating distance (WD): 10–25 mm; detector: BSED; heating: MIDDLE; Scan Mode RESOLUTION; Scan speed: 0–8; magnifcation 70–5000×. 3.3 Parasitological methods Determining the origin of intestinal parasites in archaeological material is often problematical. The only reliable connection to the host is the fnding of the parasite directly in the human or animal remains. In this study soil samples from graves were worked on using highly sensitive methods, a combination of both microscopic and molecular methods. In the case of the paleoparasitological study we decided to combine classical parasitological methods (microscopy), methods for pollen analysis (chemical and mechanical maceration), and molecular analyses (DNA isolation, PCR) – every sample being elaborated by each method. This procedure was used in order to compare results originating from diferent sample-preparation methods and thus increase the probability of detecting a parasite. Parasitological soil samples were rehydrated in a solution of 0.5% trisodium phosphate (Callen, Cameron 1960) and then treated with two techniques: 1, sedimentation – AMS III concentration technique; and 2, fotation– Sheather sugar solution. Moreover, samples were prepared as for pollen analysis (Faegri, Iversen 1989). These samples prepared with three diferent techniques, and another 24 samples from the pollen part of the research, were observed using the light microscope (Olympus BX 51) at magnifcation 200× and 400×.
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2016 ● VII/1 ● 13–32Lenka Vargová, Ladislava Horáčková, Marcela Horáková, Hana Eliášová, Eva Myšková, Oleg Ditrich: Paleopathological, Trichological and Paleoparasitological Analysis of Human Skeletal Remains from the Migration Period Cemetery Prague-Zličín 16 The next step was the isolation of DNA and the following PCR techniques specifc for Cryptosporidia, microsporidia, Trichuris sp. and Ascaris sp.Nested PCR protocols were used to amplify the ITS region of the rRNA gene of E. bieneusi and Encephalitozoon (Buckholt et al. 2002; Didier et al. 1995; Katzwinkel- Wladarsch et al. 1996). A nested PCR protocol for Giardia described by Sulaiman et al. (2003) was used to amplify the TPI fragment. The amplifcation of a partial sequence of the SSU rRNA gene described by Jiang et al. (2005) was used for Cryptosporidium parasites. Single PCR amplifcation was carried out for amplifcation of the SSU rRNA gene of Trichuris (Oh et al. 2010) and for Ascaris sp. was used a primer set fanking the cytochrome b fragment described by Loreille et al. (2001).For the primary step of the nested PCR protocol, the PCR mixture contained 1×PCR bufer, 3 mM MgCl 2 , 0.2 mM each deoxynucleoside triphosphate (dNTP), 1 U Taq polymerase, bovine serum albumin (BSA) (10 μg/ml), and 200 nM of each primer. For the secondary step of PCR, the PCR mixture was identical, except BSA was excluded. For every step of the nested PCR (standard procedure) for Cryptosporidium, Giardia and microsporidia, 35 cycles were run, each consisting of 94 °C for 45 sec, annealing temperature specifc for each targeted genus, 72 °C for 60 s. Initial incubation at 94 °C for 3 min and fnal extension at 72 °C for 7 min/10 min were included. Negative inhibition controls were included in each run. PCR products were visualized on a 1% agarose gel containing 0.2 g/ml ethidium bromide, isolated from the gel with the use of QIAquick Gel Extraction Kit (Qiagen, Hilden, Germany) and directly sequenced on an ABI 3730XL sequence analyzer (Applied Biosystems, Foster City, California). 4. Results4.1 Paleopathology Joint diseases are among the most common fndings on the skeletal remains of inhabitants from various historical periods. Most frequent are degenerative joint changes that may be localised on the spine (spondylosis and spondylarthrosis) and on large limb joints (arthrosis). In similar fashion, traces of a combination of destructive and productive processes were the most frequently discovered during the examination of the pathological changes of the Prague-Zličín human skeletal remains. 4.1.1 Degenerative changes Only 53 skeletons were examined for spondylosis and spondylarthrosis because no vertebrae of the other individuals Table 2. Occurrence of spondylosis. Explanation: f – female, m – male; J – juvenis, A I – adultus I (20–30 years), A II – adultus II (30–40 years), M I – maturus I (40–50 years), M II – matures II (50–60 years), S – senilis (more than 60 years); C – cervical vertebrae, T – thoracic vertebrae, L – lumbar vertebrae, S – sacral vertebrae. Grave NoSexAge categoryLocalization (vertebrae)Observation 528/17 fM ICerosion of surfaces 530/19 fM ICerosion of surfaces, eburnation, osteophytes 4mm, 535/24 fA IIT, Lerosion of surfaces, Schmorl’s nodes 529/25 fM ISosteophytes up to 1 mm 543/33?J – A I CSchmorl’s nodes 572/54 f A II – M I Costeophytes up to 1 mm 590/62 m M I – M II Cerosion of surfaces 591/63 mM IT, L, Serosion of surfaces, asymmetry, osteophytes 7 mm 721/71 mM I C, T, L, Serosion of surfaces, osteophytes 2–5 mm721/77 mM IC, T, L, Serosion of surfaces, osteophytes 5 mm, Schmorl’s nodes 722/78 f M I – M II C, T, L, Serosion of surfaces, osteophytes 2,2 mm, Schmorl’s nodes 778/95 f M I – M II Lerosion of surfaces, osteophytes 5 mm, Schmorl’s nodes, eburnation 784/100? A ICosteophytes up to 1 mm 798/110 fM IC, T, Lerosion of surfaces 818/121a fM IL osteophytes 3–4 mm1505/127 fA ILerosion of surfaces 1509/131 mM IILerosion of surfaces 1559/145 m M I – M II C osteophytes 2–3 mm, eburnation1570/151 fM IT, L osteophytes 4–7 mm1573/154 m A II – M I T, L osteophytes 3–4 mm, Schmorl’s nodes1593/159? A IICosteophytes up to 1 mm 1594/160 fM II SCosteophytes 4 mm 1595/161 f A II – M I Costeophytes 9×2 mm, erosion of surfaces 1596/162 fA IIT, L osteophytes 3–7 mm1597/163 f M I – M II L, Sosteophytes up to 1 mm, Schmorl’s node, L4 spondylolysis and prolaps of disc 1598/164 mM II ST, Losteophytes 5 mm
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2016 ● VII/1 ● 31–32Lenka Vargová, Ladislava Horáčková, Marcela Horáková, Hana Eliášová, Eva Myšková, Oleg Ditrich: Paleopathological, Trichological and Paleoparasitological Analysis of Human Skeletal Remains from the Migration Period Cemetery Prague-Zličín 17 have survived. Degenerative changes were detected in nearly half of these 56 skeletons (26 cases; 49.1%; n=53), as seen in Table 2. The modifed scheme of Stloukal, Vyhnánek (1976) was used to identify the individual examples of spondylosis and spondylarthrosis. Based on the scheme, the fndings were classifed into three groups according to the character of the morphological changes. Nearly half of the cases revealed frst-degree disabilities in the form of subtle bony edges encircling the articular surface areas and terminal surfaces of the bodies of vertebrae (12 cases; 46.2%; n=26). This group also included bony projections (osteophytes) of a small size and linear depressions on the terminal surfaces of Table 3: Occurrence of arthrosis. Explanation: f – female, m – male; J – juvenis, A I – adultus I (20–30 years), A II – adultus II (30–40 years), M I – matures I (40–50 years), M II – matures II (50–60 years), S – senilis (more than 60 years). Grave NoSexAgeLocalizationArticulatioObservation 530/19 fM I ulna dx.cubiti dx. osteophytes 2 mm 529/25 fM I scapula sin.humeri sin. osteophytes up to 1 mm 572/54 f A II – M I mandibulatemporomandibularisosteophytes 2 mm, deformation of surface 574/56 fA II clavicula sin.scapula sin.sternoclavicularis sin.humeri sin. erosion of surfaces 591/63 mM Isternum humerus sin.ulna dx. ossa scaphoidea os coxae dx.sternoclavicularis dx.humeri sin.radioulnaris dist. dx. radiocarpea et intercarpalis coxae dx.erosion of surfaces, eburnation, osteophytes 1–4 mm, myositis ossifcans, ossifcation of ligaments594/65 mM I ossa coxae coxae dx. et sin. osteophytes up to 1 mm 599/67? Jhumerus humeriosteophytes up to 1 mm 721/77 mM I clavicula sin.scapula sin.humerus sin, dx. os coxae sternoclavicular. sin.acromioclavicular. sin.humeri dx., sin.coxae dx., sin. erosion of surfaces, osteophytes 1–8 mm, osteochondritis dissecans, ossifcation722/78 f M I – M IIclavicula dx. ossa coxae sternoclavicular. dx.acromioclavicular. dx.coxae sin., dx. osteophytes up to 1 mm 778/95 f M I – M IIradius sin. ossa coxae talus dx.calcaneus dx., sin.radiocarpalis sin.coxae dx., sin.talocruralis dx. erosion of surfaces, osteophytes up to 1 mm, exostoses 5 mm 795/107 m M?calcaneus dx. exostosis 5 mm 798/110 fM Iossa coxae sacroiliaca dx., sin. erosion of surfaces 800/112 m M I – M IIhumerus dx.os metacarp. I. dx.os coxae sin.os coxae dx.cubiti dx.carpometacar. I. dx.coxae sin.sacroiliaca dx. erosion of surfaces, osteophytes up to 1 mm, osteochondritis dissecans 800/113 mM Iossa coxae femur dx., sin.patella sin.tibia sin.sacroiliaca dx., sin.genus sin. erosion of surfaces, osteophytes 4 mm, myositis ossifcans807/119 mM I patella sin.genus sin. 818/121a fM Imandibula scapula sin.tibia sin.temporomandibul. dx.acromioclavic. sin.genus sin.osteophytes 2–10 mm, eburnation1509/131 mM II humerus dx.cubiti dx. osteophytes up to 1 mm, osteochondritis dissecans 1544/132 m A II – M I os coxae sin.coxae sin. osteophytes up to 1 mm 1555/142 mM I clavicula dx.scapula dx.humerus dx.acromioclavic. dx.humeri dx. osteophytes up to 1 mm 1559/145 m M I – M IIos metacar. III dx.metacarpophal. III dx. osteophytes up to 1 mm 1569/150 fM Imandibula humerus dx.temporomandibul. dxcubiti dx. osteophytes up to 1 mm 1593/159? A II scapula dx.humeri dx. osteophytes up to 1 mm 1594/160 f M II – Sos coxae sin.coxae sin. osteophytes up to 1 mm 1595/161 f A II – M Ios coxae dx.coxae dx. osteophytes up to 1 mm 1596/162 fA II humerus dx.radius dx.cubiti dx. osteophytes up to 1 mm, osteochondritis dissecans 1598/164 m M II – Stalus sin.calcaneus sin., dx.talocalcaneonavic. sin. osteophytes up to 1 mm, exostoses
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2016 ● VII/1 ● 13–32Lenka Vargová, Ladislava Horáčková, Marcela Horáková, Hana Eliášová, Eva Myšková, Oleg Ditrich: Paleopathological, Trichological and Paleoparasitological Analysis of Human Skeletal Remains from the Migration Period Cemetery Prague-Zličín 18 vertebrae – Schmorl’s nodes. The vertebrae with osteophytes exceeding 3 mm, which projected above the spine surface, were described as a greater degree of spondylosis and spondylarthrosis and were detected in 9 skeletons (9 cases; 34.6%; n=26). The most severe degree of spondylosis and spondylarthrosis revealed mirror-smooth patches on articular surfaces (eburnation) and deformations of vertebrae bodies and articular surfaces (5 cases; 19.2%; n=26). Block vertebrae formed by the merging of large osteophytes on neighbouring vertebrae were not detected.We also met other problems during the interpretation. It was very difcult to determine the border between a normal and pathological state. The degenerative-productive process is usually seen as a natural manifestation of the aging of connective tissues and is characterized by a lower vescularization of the tissue itself, of cartilage and of bones, and by their lower regenerative ability. The rate of development of this process is even used as an auxiliary method to determine a biological age of life expectancy (Dobisíková 1999). A mild degree of arthrosis is usually considered as the usual fnding in cases of individuals older than 40 years. Therefore, arthrosis can be marked as a disease only in cases where the pathological changes do not correspond to the respective age (Rejholec 1982).When comparing the degree of spondylosis and the age of the afected individuals, it emerges that only 16 cases (30.2%; n=53) showed an actual disease while the remaining fndings of degenerative changes corresponded to the usual wearing of the musculoskeletal system caused by age. The detailed examination of the individuals showed that the most severely part afected was their lumbar spine, then the thoracic and cervical sections, and the least afected was the sacrum. An article by Vargová et al. (2014) provides a detailed description of the joint impairment. In addition to the spinal column, other joints were also afected by degenerative changes (Table 3) that were detected in 26 adult skeletons (37.7%; n=69); however, only 9 cases (13.0%; n=69) showed actual disease. The remaining fndings were accorded the normal signs of ageing because they had been observed on skeletal remains of individuals aged 40 and above and corresponded with a mild degree of arthrosis. Hip joints were most frequently afected, followed by shoulders, elbows, collarbone joints, knees, and jaws. 4.1.2 Traumas Apart from joint diseases, traumas were the next most frequent paleopathological fndings. Traces of healed injuries were detected in 7.9% (n=9/113) of cases. A defect detected on the cranial vault of a man over 50, excavated from grave 1509/131, is exceptionally interesting. An oval- shaped opening is visible on the left parietal bone, the front edge of which begins at the coronal suture, 26 mm to the left of the bregma (Figure 1). The rear edge of the lesion and the dorsal part of the medial edge have been damaged posthumously and so the precise dimensions of the defect cannot be determined (the maximum width is 12 mm, the length is estimated to circa 24 mm). The edges of the opening ascend inside the skull on the medial side. The preserved parts of the two edges have been rounded and neatly smoothed during the reparation process. The external table of calvaria near the defect shows signs of a chronic infammatory process which form an edging 9 mm wide (15 mm dorsally) on the lateral side. The internal table of calvaria cannot be fully analysed because of severe damage; however, small perforations near the groove for the left middle meningeal artery and the superior sagittal sulcus indicate an infammation. Although no fssures have been found near the wound, the poor condition of the calvaria makes it impossible to rule them out. The nature of the injury infers a possible slash inficted from the right. A defect on the left parietal bone and the inclined medial border of the wound might indicate an anthropogenic injury caused by a right-handed attacker. The absence of visible cracks suggests that the cutting weapon was very sharp and the slash required great efort. Based on the diferent thickness of the bone on the edges of the opening, it is likely that the sharp edge hit the cranial vault in a slanted fashion. After the injury, the wound was probably cleansed, mainly its lateral edge, and bone fragments removed. This is evidenced by the width of the cut.Nonetheless, the lateral edge of the wound was highly damaged which thwarted any detection of traces of a trepanation tool. Yet, it is evident that the afected individual lived for a long while after having sufered this injury, as indicated by signs of the reparation process. The symptoms of infammation in the cranial cavity give evidence of posttraumatic chronic meningitis which in this type of injury is the most frequent cause of death, besides brain contusion (Tesař 1968). Traumatic changes on the forearm bones of the upper left arm of a 35 to 45-year-old man from grave 1573/154 also appear to have been the result of interpersonal violence. The left ulna shows traces of a well-healed oblique fracture in the distal one third of the shaft. The peripheral fragment shows