open access

Vol 76, No 1 (2017)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2016-07-04
Submitted: 2016-03-09
Accepted: 2016-05-07
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Atlas occipitalisation associated with other anomalies in a 16th century skeleton from Sardinia (Italy)

V. Giuffra, A. Montella, M. Milanese, E. Tognotti, D. Caramella, P. Bandiera
DOI: 10.5603/FM.a2016.0039
·
Pubmed: 27830869
·
Folia Morphol 2017;76(1):123-127.

open access

Vol 76, No 1 (2017)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2016-07-04
Submitted: 2016-03-09
Accepted: 2016-05-07

Abstract

Archaeological excavations carried out in the plague cemetery of 16th century Alghero (Sardinia) brought to light the skeleton of a male aged 35–45 years, showing anomalies of the atlas. A macroscopic and radiological study has been carried out. The first cervical vertebra is fused with the skull base, resulting in an occipitalisation of the atlas. Absence of the costal element of the left foramen transversarium, resulting in an open anterior foramen transversarium, and posterior arch defect are also observed. The atlanto-occipital junction is a complex structure, susceptible to develop different patterns of congenital defects. These anatomical variations of atlas should be considered in modern clinical practice in order to formulate a correct diagnosis and to conceive an appropriate treatment. Osteoarchaeological cases are important as, beside to ascertain the presence of congenital defects in past populations, allow an in-depth study in dry bones, which can help modern medicine in interpreting anatomical variations. We present an association of congenital anomalies of the atlanto-occipital junction, a condition rarely documented in ancient and modern human skeletal remains.

Abstract

Archaeological excavations carried out in the plague cemetery of 16th century Alghero (Sardinia) brought to light the skeleton of a male aged 35–45 years, showing anomalies of the atlas. A macroscopic and radiological study has been carried out. The first cervical vertebra is fused with the skull base, resulting in an occipitalisation of the atlas. Absence of the costal element of the left foramen transversarium, resulting in an open anterior foramen transversarium, and posterior arch defect are also observed. The atlanto-occipital junction is a complex structure, susceptible to develop different patterns of congenital defects. These anatomical variations of atlas should be considered in modern clinical practice in order to formulate a correct diagnosis and to conceive an appropriate treatment. Osteoarchaeological cases are important as, beside to ascertain the presence of congenital defects in past populations, allow an in-depth study in dry bones, which can help modern medicine in interpreting anatomical variations. We present an association of congenital anomalies of the atlanto-occipital junction, a condition rarely documented in ancient and modern human skeletal remains.

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Keywords

atlas occipitalisation, absence of the costal element of the left foramen transversarium, posterior arch defect, Sardinia, modern age

About this article
Title

Atlas occipitalisation associated with other anomalies in a 16th century skeleton from Sardinia (Italy)

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 76, No 1 (2017)

Pages

123-127

Published online

2016-07-04

DOI

10.5603/FM.a2016.0039

Pubmed

27830869

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2017;76(1):123-127.

Keywords

atlas occipitalisation
absence of the costal element of the left foramen transversarium
posterior arch defect
Sardinia
modern age

Authors

V. Giuffra
A. Montella
M. Milanese
E. Tognotti
D. Caramella
P. Bandiera

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