Massive tarsal ankylosis in a prehistoric skeleton

A. Isidro, C. Castellana, A. Malgosa

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Ankylosis in both feet is described in a prehistoric skeleton from the Iron Age in Majorca (2430 ± 200 years BCE), Spain. The subject is an adult male buried with special care in one of the most important prehistoric necropolises on the island. The diagnosis of the anomalies is based on the morphology of foot ankylosis and on bilaterality and asymmetry; the historical and geographical factors affecting the individual are also considered. After a preliminary study was carried out in 1996 into the IP SW64-1 postcranial skeleton and the foot alterations, we studied the foot anomalies in depth confirming both massive tarsal coalition and sero-negative spondylitis as the most probable diagnosis. In addition, an extensive search of the medical, osteo-archaeological and palaeopathological review literature has been undertaken. It is possible that the IP SW64-1 specimen could be the oldest case of massive tarsal coalition published up to the present.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-247
JournalFoot and Ankle Surgery
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000


  • Foot
  • Iron Age
  • Palaeopathology
  • Tarsal bone ankylosis


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