The current study focuses on the remains of an adult male individual unearthed during archaeological excavations inside the church of San Biagio in Cittiglio (Northern Italy). The skull displayed four lesions in the form of defects in the cranium that involved the occipital squama, the right nuchal portion, the right parietal, and the right occipito-mastoid area. At macroscopic observation, the lesions showed polished surfaces, sharp margins, V-shaped cross-sections, and evidence of parallel microstriations. The investigation required a multi-analytical approach, which combined macroscopic assessment, computed tomography, photogrammetric three-dimensional reconstruction, and 3D digital microscopy that allowed us to obtain a morphometric characterization of the evidence. Our objective was to reconstruct the dynamics of an ancient violent event by applying a modern scientific approach to the analysis of the injuries observed in the skull of an osteoarchaeological individual. Digital microscopy allowed us to evaluate the micromorphometric aspect of the lesions, and to obtain microscopic quantitative data such as linear and angular measurements in the three dimensions. The complete absence of bone reaction at the site of the lesions revealed the perimortem nature of the injuries. Through the holistic, combined approach employed in the current study it was concluded that this individual was most likely struck four times in rapid succession from behind with a straight bladed implement, consistent in form with a long sword of the time. At the end of our study, it was possible to reconstruct the dynamics for each lesion and to hypothesize the reconstructive sequence of the violent event.

Wounded to death. Holistic, multimodal reconstruction of the dynamics in a case of multiple perimortem cranial injuries from a medieval site in northern Italy

Tesi C.;Ricci S.;Badino P.;Fusco R.
;
Rossetti C.;Gorini I.;Licata M.
2022-01-01

Abstract

The current study focuses on the remains of an adult male individual unearthed during archaeological excavations inside the church of San Biagio in Cittiglio (Northern Italy). The skull displayed four lesions in the form of defects in the cranium that involved the occipital squama, the right nuchal portion, the right parietal, and the right occipito-mastoid area. At macroscopic observation, the lesions showed polished surfaces, sharp margins, V-shaped cross-sections, and evidence of parallel microstriations. The investigation required a multi-analytical approach, which combined macroscopic assessment, computed tomography, photogrammetric three-dimensional reconstruction, and 3D digital microscopy that allowed us to obtain a morphometric characterization of the evidence. Our objective was to reconstruct the dynamics of an ancient violent event by applying a modern scientific approach to the analysis of the injuries observed in the skull of an osteoarchaeological individual. Digital microscopy allowed us to evaluate the micromorphometric aspect of the lesions, and to obtain microscopic quantitative data such as linear and angular measurements in the three dimensions. The complete absence of bone reaction at the site of the lesions revealed the perimortem nature of the injuries. Through the holistic, combined approach employed in the current study it was concluded that this individual was most likely struck four times in rapid succession from behind with a straight bladed implement, consistent in form with a long sword of the time. At the end of our study, it was possible to reconstruct the dynamics for each lesion and to hypothesize the reconstructive sequence of the violent event.
2022
2022
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2352409X22003066?via=ihub
3D digital microscope; Bone trauma; Micromorphometry; Microstriations; Osteoarchaeology; Paleo-traumatology; Sharp-force
Tesi, C.; Ricci, S.; Crezzini, J.; Badino, P.; Fusco, R.; Rossetti, C.; Gorini, I.; Licata, M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/2144131
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