Skeletal Paleopathology of Human Remains From Cemetery R37 at Harappa, excavated in 1987 and 1988

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  • Excavations at the archaeological site of Harappa, Pakistan in 1987 and 1988 uncovered the remains of at least 92 adults, although only 19 were complete skeletons in primary contexts. One additional adult skeleton, excavated in 1967 and displayed in the Harappa Museum, also was examined. This report describes the frequencies and expressions of pathological lesions in the skeletons of these individuals (joint disease, trauma, congenital and developmental disorders, hematopoietic disorders, infection and inflammation, metabolic disorders, and neoplasia) and provides detailed descriptions and photographic illustrations of the lesions. Of the 20 complete adult remains, 14 exhibited pathological lesions on bones. The most common condition was joint disease, which affected 10 individuals, mainly in the spine; followed by trauma, which affected five individuals. Periosteal reactions on long bones, benign osteomas on the cranium, and two possible cases of anomalous development of the skeleton (cranium and pelvis) were also noted.

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  • Type of Item
    Research Material
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    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 International
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Lovell, Nancy C. (1994) “Spinal Arthritis and Physical Stress at Bronze Age Harappa.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology 93, no. 2: 149–164. doi:10.1002/ajpa.1330930202. Lovell, Nancy C. (1997) “Anemia in the Ancient Indus Valley.” International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 7, no. 2: 115-123. Lovell, Nancy C. (2014) “Additional Data on Trauma at Harappa.” International Journal of Paleopathology 6: 1–4. doi:10.1016/j.ijpp.2014.01.002.