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Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. Perimortem fractures in the osteological collection of Aljubarrota Portugal. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 40 82—88 Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Journal of Anthropological Archaeology journal homepage: The archaeological site of Aljubarrota Portugal contained a secondary deposit of human bones. A rehabilitacn Received 29 July ous investigation calculated the minimum number of individuals MNI as hoppenfel, all male, with 52 Revision received 6 May macroscopically visible perimortem trauma 38 cuts and 14 puncture wounds.

Both the archaeological and osteological data demonstrate a relationship between the bone collection and a violent conflict, specifically the Battle of Aljubarrota in This article contributes new data on the perimortem lesions documented in this collection.

A total of Trauma bone fragments of the cranium and postcranial skeleton were hippenfeld, taking account of the demo- Perimortem fracture Medieval graphic profile, taphonomic alterations, paleopathological modifications, and documented entheseal Battle of Aljubarrota changes.

A further 58 perimortem fractures were detected, all produced by blunt-force trauma, in addi- Interpersonal fractursa tion to the 52 perimortem injuries previously documented. The most frequent injuries were blunt-force traumas 58followed by sharp-force injuries 38 and puncture wounds All perimortem fractures detected were in the femur or tibia, predominantly on the left side of the skeleton and mainly affecting the anterior plane of the bone and middle third of the shaft.

Fractras morphol- ogy and pattern of these perimortem fractures are consistent with their production by blunt or rounded instruments in face-to-face combat.

The enthesopathic modifications observed in the femur fragments suggest that they may correspond to individuals on horseback. Introduction marked a definitive rupture between the Kingdoms of Portugal and Castile, creating a new political order in tatamiento Iberian Peninsula.

Frac Turas – Documents

Historical context Although written sources provide highly varied descriptions of the Battle of Aljubarrota battle fractugas its course De Ayala and The Medieval Battle of Aljubarrota between the Portuguese Moure, ; Froissart, ; Lopes and Saraiva,it is one army, with their English allies, and the Castilian army, with their of hoppenffeld few archeologically documented battles, and material and French and Italian allies, is considered one of the most important bioanthropological remains are available.

The archaeological site battles of the Late Middle Ages. The situation worsened when King trenches of a defensive nature were detected. Various archeologi- Pedro of Castile died without leaving a male heir, and King cal excavations since that trayamiento have expanded our knowledge of Ferdinand I of Portugal then declared himself to be a contender the site and its relation to the Battle of Aljubarrota.

The osteologi- for the Castilian throne. This brought about a political crisis and cal collection from this battle is one of the most important sources a state of open war between the two countries. The final result of for the study of injuries in a medieval battlefield in Europe and is this conflict was the so-called Battle of Aljubarrota, which took the focus of the present investigation. Laboratory of Anthropology, Department of Legal 1. The study of traumatic injuries in osteoarchaeological remains E-mail address: Map of Portugal showing the location of Battle of Aljubarrota.

Martin and Frayer, ; Milner, ; Novak, a; Walker, differentiated. Because bones are more resistant to compression ; Bennike, The availability of human remains known to be related to a bone material from the Aljubarrota Portugal site and associated specific battle is rare but can produce important advances in historic documentation.


The objective was to complement existing osteoarcheology, as in the case of the fallen soldiers discovered information on the Battle of Aljubarrota Cunha and Silva, ; in Wisby Ingelmark,Aljubarrota Cunha and Silva, ; Cunha et al. All 31 boxes in Besides the identification of traumatic injuries, interpersonal the University of Coimbra collection, containing adult bone violence can also be evaluated by analysis of the frequency, distri- fragments, were studied.

The anthropological material recovered during archaeological Differentiation among antemortem, perimortem, and excavations is currently stored in the Life Science Department of post-mortem fractures in skeletonized remains is a challenging the University of Coimbra Portugal.

The bones are kept in differ- task. Although forensic anthropologists have questioned their ent wooden boxes according to the anatomic unit in question e. A detailed anthropological analysis condition of the bone Maples, ; Ubelaker and Adams, ; was published in by a group from the Life Sciences Sauer, ; Botella et al.

These bone Kimmerle and Baraybar, Analytic methodologies have been remains come from a mass grave that is a secondary deposit of dis- developed that permit examination of the biomechanical attri- articulated bones. Complete bones are exceptional, preventing the butes of bones and allow traumas in fresh and dry bone to be reconstruction of skeletons. Results based on the left femur, isall aged between 20 and 60 years.

Given the fragmentary state of the remains, the biological sex was Out of the bone fragments studied, Adequate fragments and 4. All remaining bones are fragmented. The degree of fragmen- dence of prolonged post-mortem exposure to the sun, erosion, tation is highly variable, with half of the bone available in some and animal action e. The characteristics of the site, the sharp-force traumas 38 and puncture wounds 14 recorded by mass burial in a common grave, the predominance of male adults, Cunha et al.

They show oblique angles on their edges ftacturas and the frequency of perimortem trauma largely incisions and divide the bone longitudinally into at least two segments Fig. Considered together, peri- mortem femoral and tibial fractures were more frequent on the left versus right side Table 3.

Methods The sharp-force traumas and puncture wounds detected were also more frequent in lower limbs. The perimortem fractures were most frequently located in the Determination of the chronology of injuries antemortem, peri- middle third of the shaft Has not been observed on among other signs Merbs, ; Villa and Mahieu, ; the lateral surface. Ubelaker and Adams, ; Lovell, ; Sauer, ; Rehabilitacinn Correlation analysis between the fractures rracturas age of individu- et al.

Straight fracture lines combined with showed the renabilitacin of perimortem fractures produced by irregular lines and showing slight color changes with respect to blunt-force trauma in the lower limb, providing further clues on the outer and inner bone surfaces were considered post-mortem medieval war strategies. The key requirement of the archeological injuries, attributable to damage caused by grave collapse, secondary study of bone fractures is to determine their timing in relation to burial, or archaeological excavation, among others Roberts and Manchester, ; Botella et al.

The method of Buikstra and Ubelaker was Fibula 1. The following data were recorded for each detected injury: All injuries detected were coded, and the Vertebra 1. Chicago, IL was used for the statistical analyses. Table 2 Perimortem trauma observed in the trattamiento from Aljubarrota. No bone remodeling process was observed in any of the 58 perimortem fractures detected in the present study, hopepnfeld out their antemortem origin.

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Although the remains were highly fragmented, caused by their excavation or post-depositional taphonomic processes, the edges of the fractures detected are not compatible with those of dry-bone fractures.

Frac Turas

All of the fractures follow the bone architecture and hence become fore- shortened, with sharp rough borders and smooth or less rough sur- face Fig. Breaks in dry bone are more longitudinal, with irregular edges and granular, rough, and uneven surfaces, while the color of the fracture tends to differ from that of surrounding areas Fig.

Experimental studies Wheatley, ; Karr and Outram, have demonstrated that, depending on the taphonomic microenvi- Fig. Perimortem fracture on the fragment of femur. In a mass grave, the elasticity of the frequency of perimortem trauma. Bone degradation is a dynamic bone is expected to persist for a longer period of time.

In other medieval collections related to military conflicts Right Left Indeterminate Table 5postcranial perimortem trauma accounted for A substantially higher proportion of years Cunha et al. It appears unli- perimortem injuries The percentage was trampling to any significant extent, because this could be expected high in both Aljubarrota and Wisby, with the most frequently to produce breaks in both lower and upper limb bones. The absence or low presence of blunt-force Brink et al. In the present study, perimortem fractures were more is much more likely in comparison to the study of whole bones.

The high frequency of peri- and the material is poorly preserved, with a high degree of mortem trauma on the left side has been attributed to post-depositional modification.

This should be taken into account man-to-man encounters between right-handed individuals in interpreting our evaluation of the fracture types and the action Ingelmark, ; Novak, a; Weber and Czarnetzki, Nevertheless, it proved possible to detect Moreover, the perimortem fractures were mainly on the anterior a large number of perimortem traumatic injuries.

Comparison with surface of the bone, indicating that victims were usually facing their collections that do not derive from a battlefield but have the same attackers. These wounds would have been administered from an date, such as S. Pedro Cunha et al. The present findings are helpful to match pat- in each sample.

Furthermore, the large number of sharp injuries terns of trauma but cannot elucidate the precise injury mechanism.

The predominance of perimortem injuries perimortem fracture. Coimbra Hoppenceld for their collaboration. Observations by Cunha et al. References Thus, they observed marked development of gluteus medius and maximus muscles in De faldne fra Krigergraven-analys af skeletterne fra Sandbjerget. Liv Levn 12, 14— Rebellion, combat and massacre: Aarhus University Press, Aarhus, pp.

Nevertheless, the attribution of injuries to mounted or Brink, O. Pattern of injuries due to interpersonal non-mounted men remains merely speculative in the absence of violence. Mary in Medieval Oslo. It should rehabilitadin taken into account that a much larger number of frag- Buikstra, J.

Standards for Data Collection from Human Skeletal ments of femur are present in comparison to fragments of Remains. Introduction to Forensic Anthropology. War lesions from the famous Portuguese medieval Battle of Aljubarrota. Os mais verdadeiros testemunhos da Batalha 6.

La enfermedad no escrita. The Archaeology of a limb, on the anterior plane of the bone, and on the left trztamiento of the Mass Grave from trataiento Battle of Towton, AD Sharp-force traumas and puncture wounds are also more Froissart, J. The femur is at the highest rie ant rieurepar L on Mirot, t.

Fractures in ancient bones.