Paleopathology of Herculaneum's Population (79 D.C.)
Keywords:Herculaneum , Paleopathology , Tuberculosis , Pott’s disease, Brucellosis
AbstractIn 1982, some occasional excavations in the area corresponding to the ancient beach of Ercolano brought to light the rests of around 250 individuals, victims of the eruption of the Vesuvius. This exceptional recovery constitutes an essential patrimony for the reconstruction of the paleobiology and the paleopathology of the human populations in roman epoch, in relationship not only to the style of life but also to the social and economic status. Notwithstanding the bone alterations due to the exposition to high temperature, the human remains present traces of illness. Among these we find rheumatic pathologies and arthrosis of the vertebral column. The high frequency of occupational markers (enthesopaties and sindesmopaties) suggests that the most part of the population (juveniles included) exercised hand work. Among the infectious pathologies we report cases of the tuberculosis and brucellosis.