Paleopathology of the Copper Age mummy from the Val senales glacier.

R. M. Costantini, L. Capasso, A. Capelli, L. Frati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The unique conditions of preservation of the Copper age mummy found in the Val Senales glacier permit to analyze the general state of health of a man of the late European prehistory. Investigations conducted within the organizational framework of an International Research Project revealed the presence of a series of alterations, that, in a broad sense, can be considered of paleopathological interest. These can be classified as: 1) post mortem lesions, including scalp erosion, alopecia, soft tissue loss in the right gluteal region, right coxo-femoral disarticulation, right sacro-iliac dislocation; 2) lesions that occurred intra vitam, including tattooings, dental wear, trichorrexis nodosa, nail hypoplasia, moderate osteoarthrosis of the lumbar vertebral column and of the coxo-femoral joints, tibio-tarsal osteosclerosis. The palaeopathological analysis of this unique mummy shed vivid light on the mutual interactions between disease, environment, and culture, that shaped human life in a distant past.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-70
Number of pages18
JournalMedicina nei secoli
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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