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Original scientific paper

A case of skeletal tuberculosis from St. John the Baptist site in Ivankovo near Vinkovci

Siniša Krznar orcid id ; Institute of Archaeology, Zagreb, Croatia
Mario Novak ; The Anthropological Center of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Zagreb, Croatia

Full text: croatian pdf 992 Kb

page 93-106

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Full text: english pdf 992 Kb

page 93-106

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The paper presents the results of the anthropological analysis of human skeletal remains from grave 14 at the site of St. John the Baptist’s church in Ivankovo near Vinkovci. Based on the archaeological finds and the stratigraphic relationship with the other graves, grave 14 can approximately be dated to the 16th century. The grave contained the burial of an adult male whose skeleton exhibited morphological changes consistent with skeletal tuberculosis – angular kyphotic deformity on the spine and the augmentation of the body of the ribs and localized abscesses on ribs. A differential diagnosis ruled out fractures, osteomyelitis, brucellosis, malignant bone tumors and Scheuermann’s disease as possible causes of the mentioned changes in the analysed skeleton. The presence of skeletal tuberculosis in Ivankovo during the 16th century fits into the geographical and chronological frame of the emergence and spread of that disease in the Carpathian Basin, with famine, outbreaks of contagious diseases and general impoverishment of the population as possible causes. Taking into consideration the economic and social character of Ivankovo in that period, it is possible that the immediate agent of tuberculosis infection in the analysed person was the subspecies Mycobacterium bovis, transmitted to humans from animals.


Ivankovo, 16th century, anthropological analysis, skeletal tuberculosis, Pott’s disease

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