Journal of Archaeology in the Low Countries 4-1 (October 2012)Raffaella Bianucci; Don Brothwell; Wijnand van der Sanden; Christina Papageorgopoulou; Paul Gostner; Patrizia Pernter; Eduard Egarter-Vigl; Frank Maixner; Marek Janko; Dario Piombino-Mascali; Grazia Mattutino; Frank Rühlis; Albert Zink: A possible case of dyschondrosteosis in a bog body from the Netherlands
3 Results

3.4 Radiographic analysis by means of CT scanning

3.4.1 Sex

next section

The sex estimation was based on the pelvis and parts of the skull (White & Folkens 2005, 385-398). The following bones were entirely preserved: frontal bone, right and left parietals, a fragment of the left temporal bone and a fragment of the upper jaw. The reduced dimensions of the skull bones are due to post-mortem shrinkage and not microcephaly. True microcephaly does not result in such a pronounced reduction of the face.

The very small mastoid process of the skull and the shape of the pelvis (wider greater sciatic notches, longer pubic portion of the os coxae, larger subpubic angle, more elevated auricular surface) indicate that the individual was female.

3.4.2 Age at death

The age at death was tentatively inferred from various observations. Epiphyseal union in the long bones, pelvis and scapula indicates a minimum age of 25 years, while the morphology of the pubic symphysis points to an age between 35 and 50 years (Leopold & Schäfer 1998, 304-308; Byers 2005, 223-232).

3.4.3 Cut marks

There are at least 21 cut marks on the bones. Most of the cuts are short and were clearly made with a sharp blade. There is no evidence of bone reaction to these injuries, and there are no equivalent injuries on the body surface. The distribution of these injuries is shown in figure 11.


Figure 11 Distribution of cut marks on the Zweeloo skeleton.

Briefly, the locations of these are as follows: (1) frontal, above the left orbit, (2) two on the inner aspect of the scapula blade, (3) a left hand phalanx and proximal phalanx of the left thumb, (4) the left femur below the trochanters and at the distal femur, (5) at the proximal articular end of the left tibia, (6) two at the distal end of the right humerus, (7) three on the right radius and one on the right ulna, (8) two on the right femur, in the upper and lower thirds of the shaft, (9) two at the proximal end of the right tibia and two more along the shaft. The cause of the damage is unclear, as there is no evidence of external body trauma, except possibly to the posterior aspect of the left shoulder, on the outer skin surface. It remains to be determined whether the cut marks were formed during the excavation or during the conservation of the remains.