Historical and osteological evidence of tuberculosis in Bucharest (Romania)

During the archaeological excavations from the University Square, the east area of the Church Saint Sava’s cemetery was unearthed and a number of 676 graves from 16th to 19th century was discovered.


The human remains were analysed by the Laboratory of Paleoanthropology (Institute of Anthropology from Bucharest) and it was recording state of preservation and representation, sex determination (skull and hip bones features), non-adult age estimation, adult age estimation, pathology, and traumatic injuries.


The sample comprises 133 non-adults and 491 adults; by sexes are 149 females, 236 males and 106 are indeterminate. From those, four skeletons display pathological modifications due to the tuberculosis. As chronology: skeleton M 231 is dated in the period of 1441-1524 (BPU_3; Poz-66330; 390±30 BP); the skeletons 468, 488, 637 are dated in 16th-19th centuries based on the inventory.


Anthropological data: skeleton 231 (male of 33-42 years), skeleton 468 (indeterminate of 14-16 years), skeleton 488 (female of 20-23 years), skeleton 637 (female of 30-40 years). All of them display lesions on radii, ulnae, ribs, lumbar vertebrae, os coxae, femurs and tibiae; also, some have cribra cranii or hypoplasia.

Authors:M. Constantinescu, L. Andreica, A. Soficaru
Publication:Anthropologischer Anzeiger
Published: 2015
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