Clay-Shoveler's fracture: An uncommon diagnosis in palaeopathology

Xavier Jordana, I. Galtés, F. Busquets, A. Isidro, A. Malgosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


An archaeological case of clay-shoveler's fracture was observed in an adult male exhumed from a Roman necropolis dated to the 1st-3rd century AD and located in the city of Barcelona, Spain. Clay-shoveler's fracture is a breakage of a lower cervical or upper thoracic spinous process as a result of mechanical stress. Different mechanisms have been related to this injury, generally in labour-related contexts. This paper reviews the literature concerning this uncommon finding, focusing especially on its mechanism and on activity-related lesions. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-372
JournalInternational Journal of Osteoarchaeology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2006


  • Occupational injury
  • Palaeopathology
  • Roman Imperial age
  • Spinous process
  • Stress fracture
  • Thoracic vertebrae
  • Vertebral trauma


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