Study of Harris lines at the »Prat de la Riba« necropolis - Third to fifth century AD

Maria Isabel Berrocal-Zaragoza, Maria Eulàlia Subirà

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Harris lines (HL) are considered a nutritional or pathological stress factor in the study of past populations. This study attempts to contribute to the knowledge of the causal agents for HL in terms of assessing the health state of the population of Tarragona in the Roman period. The presence of HL has been analyzed in 614 long bones (214 humeri, 150 femurs and 250 tibias) from 243 skeletons. No HL have been observed in humeri. The frequencies of HL in femurs are higher than 27% and in tibias more than 48%. Although no significant differences in the presence of HL is found among age categories, it seems that the causal agents of these marks acted on individuals from the age of 5, an age from which the long bones of the lower extremities are more prone to producing HL. The hardened living conditions in the Dark Age of the Roman period in Spain between the third to fifth centuries A.D. may be the cause of the high prevalence of HL in this population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-550
JournalCollegium Antropologicum
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2008


  • Bone density
  • Bone development
  • Radiographic image
  • Roman Period
  • Spain


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