Objectives: To correlate the radiologic findings detected with computed tomography scan with anthropological data in 13 naturally mummified bodies discovered during works of recovery of an ancient church in a crypt in Roccapelago, in the Italian Apennines. Methods: From a group of about sixty not-intentionally mummified bodies, thirteen were selected to be investigated with volumetric computed tomography (CT). Once CT scan was performed, axial images were processed to gather MPR and Volume Rendering reconstructions. Elaborations of these images provided anthropometric measurements and a non-invasive analysis of the residual anatomical structures. For each body the grade of preservation and the eventual pathological changes were recorded. Furthermore, in order to identify nutritional and occupational markers, radiologic signs of bone tropism and degenerative changes were analysed and graded. Results: Mummies included seven females and six males, with an estimated age ranging from 20 to 60 years. The first relevant finding identified was a general low grade of preservation, due to the lack of anatomic tissues different from bones, tendons and dehydrated skin. The low grade of preservation was related to the natural process of mummification. Analysing bone degenerative changes on CT scan, the majority of the bodies had significant occupational markers consisting of arthritis in the spine, lower limbs and shoulders even in young age. Few were the pathological findings identified. Among these, the most relevant included a severe bilateral congenital hip dysplasia and a wide osteolytic lesion involving left orbit and petrous bone that was likely the cause of death. Conclusions: Although the low grade of preservation of these mummies, the multidisciplinary approach of anthropologists and radiologists allowed several important advances in knowledge for the epidemiology of Roccapelago. First of all, a profile of living conditions was delineated. It included occupational and nutritional conditions. Moreover, identification of some causes of death and, most importantly the definition of general living conditions.

CT scan of thirteen natural mummies dating back to the XVI-XVIII centuries: An emerging tool to investigate living conditions and diseases in history

FELETTI F
Investigation
;
2016

Abstract

Objectives: To correlate the radiologic findings detected with computed tomography scan with anthropological data in 13 naturally mummified bodies discovered during works of recovery of an ancient church in a crypt in Roccapelago, in the Italian Apennines. Methods: From a group of about sixty not-intentionally mummified bodies, thirteen were selected to be investigated with volumetric computed tomography (CT). Once CT scan was performed, axial images were processed to gather MPR and Volume Rendering reconstructions. Elaborations of these images provided anthropometric measurements and a non-invasive analysis of the residual anatomical structures. For each body the grade of preservation and the eventual pathological changes were recorded. Furthermore, in order to identify nutritional and occupational markers, radiologic signs of bone tropism and degenerative changes were analysed and graded. Results: Mummies included seven females and six males, with an estimated age ranging from 20 to 60 years. The first relevant finding identified was a general low grade of preservation, due to the lack of anatomic tissues different from bones, tendons and dehydrated skin. The low grade of preservation was related to the natural process of mummification. Analysing bone degenerative changes on CT scan, the majority of the bodies had significant occupational markers consisting of arthritis in the spine, lower limbs and shoulders even in young age. Few were the pathological findings identified. Among these, the most relevant included a severe bilateral congenital hip dysplasia and a wide osteolytic lesion involving left orbit and petrous bone that was likely the cause of death. Conclusions: Although the low grade of preservation of these mummies, the multidisciplinary approach of anthropologists and radiologists allowed several important advances in knowledge for the epidemiology of Roccapelago. First of all, a profile of living conditions was delineated. It included occupational and nutritional conditions. Moreover, identification of some causes of death and, most importantly the definition of general living conditions.
2016
Petrella, E; Piciucchi, S; Feletti, F; Barone, D; Piraccini, A; Minghetti, C; Gruppioni, G; Poletti, V; Bertocco, M; Traversari, M
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2549310
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