Pathological Evidence in Newborn Children from the Sixteenth Century in Huelva (Spain)

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Archaeological infant remains rarely appear in the palaeopathological literature; above all there are few references to neonatal individuals. This work presents four infant pathological specimens from the crypt of the Ermita de la Soledad (sixteenth to nineteenth century, Huelva, Spain). The bones analysed - one right hemifrontal, two humeri and a femur - belong to at least two individuals of between 0 and 6 months of age. The differential diagnosis of the lesions - mainly detachments of the outer layer of cortical bone, areas of juxtametaphysial osteolysis and epiphysial destructuralization - supports the hypothesis of an infectious aetiology, such as congenital treponematosis and haematogenous osteomyelitis, although illness caused by a deficiency, such as scurvy or rickets, cannot be ruled out.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-396
JournalInternational Journal of Osteoarchaeology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1996


  • Congenital syphilis
  • Cortical detachments
  • Newborn
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Rickets
  • Scurvy

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