An unprecedented case of cranial surgery in Longobard Italy (6th–8th century) using a cruciform incision

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jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pThe Longobard necropolis of Castel Trosino dates from the 6th to the 8th century CE. Among the tombs excavated, the skull of an older female shows the first evidence of a cross‐shaped bone modification on a living subject. Macroscopic, microscopic, and CT scan analyses revealed signs of at least two sets of scraping marks. Specifically, SEM analysis shows that jats:italicperimortem</jats:italic> bone‐scraping traces are present on the skull. Both healed and non‐healed defects suggest that the woman has received at least twice intentional bone modifications to address her condition. This is the first evidence of a cross‐shaped therapeutic intervention on a living subject.</jats:p>


Funder: Source of support: “Population biology, diseases and mobility: Romans and Longobards in the post‐classical era”, Grande Progetto Sapienza 2018, RG118164364E4CB5.

bioarchaeology, CT scan, paleopathology, SEM analysis, skull defect
Journal Title
International Journal of Osteoarchaeology
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HORIZON EUROPE Marie Sklodowska‐Curie Actions, B‐CARED Osteobiographical investigation of disability and care in Medieval Europe (101061838)