The eye injury of King Philip II and the skeletal evidence from the royal tomb II at Vergina.
The Royal Tomb II was discovered in Vergina, Greece, in 1977. It contained a male skeleton and a rich array of grave goods. Evidence of trauma supposedly in the orbital bones of the skull has been thought to correspond to an eye injury that King Philip II is historically known to have suffered. However, reexamination of the orbital morphology showed no evidence of such pathology. Therefore, the skeleton does not belong to Philip II. New skeletal evidence shows that the skeleton belongs to King Philip III Arrhidaeus. In this case, the tomb may well contain some of the paraphernalia of Alexander the Great. (+info)
Graveyard gleanings: socio-economic, geographical and gender inequalities in health at Tynemouth, UK, 1833-1853.
BACKGROUND: Inequalities in the health of different sections of populations are well recognized but were difficult to demonstrate before death registration was introduced in 1837. In the early years of civil registration, geographical and sex differences in mortality were clearly recognized, as were occupational hazards, but socio-economic differences were barely explored in the Annual Reports of the Registrar General. Tynemouth General Cemetery (TGC) was established in 1833 as a private cemetery with unusually detailed records. METHODS: A total of 2610 records from 1833 to 1853 were analysed. Variables used included sex, dates of death and burial, age at death, depth of burial, cause of death, place of residence and occupation. As no denominator population is available, median age at death has been used for comparisons. RESULTS: Depth of burial relates well to a hierarchy of specific occupations and so is used as a marker for socio-economic status. The median age for the burials was 12 years. People of higher socio-economic status survived longer. The people of North Shields, and especially the males, died younger than those from surrounding areas. Males outnumbered females in most age groups. CONCLUSION: Socio-economic, geographical and gender inequalities in mortality are clearly demonstrable in the early nineteenth century, without the use of registration data. (+info)
Are plague pits of particular use to palaeoepidemiologists?
BACKGROUND: The demography and pattern of disease of skeletal assemblages may not accurately reflect those of the living population of which they were once a part. The hypothesis tested here was that skeletons from a mass disaster would more closely approximate to a living population than those from a conventional cemetery. METHOD: Six hundred skeletons recovered from a Black Death plague pit in London were compared with 236 skeletons recovered from an overlying medieval cemetery. Age and sex were determined by standard anthropological means by a single observer and adjustments were made to correct for those skeletons for which either or both could not be established. An estimate of age structure of the living medieval population of London was made, using model life tables. RESULTS: The age and sex distribution and the pattern of disease in the Black Death skeletons did not differ substantially from those in the control group of skeletons. Both assemblages tended to overestimate the numbers in the younger age groups of the model population and underestimate the numbers in the oldest age group. CONCLUSIONS: On the evidence from this single site, a skeletal assemblage from a mass disaster does not provide a better representation of the living population from which it was derived than that from a conventional cemetery. (+info)
Support for ethical dilemmas in individual cases: experiences from the Neu-Mariahilf Hospital in Goettingen.
Prompted by a recommendation of the two Christian hospital associations in Germany, the Neu-Mariahilf Hospital in Gottingen set up a health ethics committee in autumn 1998. It is the committee's task to give support to staff members, patients and their relatives in individual cases where ethical dilemmas arise. The following article describes the committee's work by means of three cases. (+info)
Environmental characteristics of the cemeteries of Buenos Aires City (Argentina) and infestation levels of Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae).
Cemeteries with many water-filled containers, flowers, sources of human blood, and shade are favorable urban habitats for the proliferation of Aedes aegypti, a vector of yellow fever and dengue. A total of 22,956 containers was examined in the five cemeteries of the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The vector was found in four cemeteries that showed an average infestation level of 5.5% (617 positive out of 11,196 water-filled containers). The four cemeteries positive for Ae. aegypti showed significantly different (p<0.01) infestation levels. Vegetation cover and percentage of infestation were significantly correlated (p<0.01), but neither cemetery area nor number of available containers were significantly related to the proportion of positive vases. Our results suggest that the cemeteries of Buenos Aires represent a gradient of habitat favorableness for this vector species, some of which may act as foci for its proliferation and dispersal. (+info)
Using mortuary statistics in the development of an injury surveillance system in Ghana.
OBJECTIVE: To develop, in a mortuary setting, a pilot programme for improving the accuracy of records of deaths caused by injury. METHODS: The recording of injury-related deaths was upgraded at the mortuary of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana, in 1996 through the creation of a prospectively gathered database. FINDINGS: There was an increase in the number of deaths reported annually as attributable to injury from 72 before 1995 to 633 in 1996-99. Injuries accounted for 8.6% of all deaths recorded in the mortuary and for 12% of deaths in the age range 15-59 years; 80% of deaths caused by injury occurred outside the hospital and thus would not have been indicated in hospital statistics; 88% of injury-related deaths were associated with transport, and 50% of these involved injuries to pedestrians. CONCLUSIONS: Injury was a significant cause of mortality in this urban African setting, especially among adults of working age. The reporting of injury-related deaths in a mortuary was made more complete and accurate by means of simple inexpensive methods. This source of data could make a significant contribution to an injury surveillance system, along with hospital records and police accident reports. (+info)
Pacemaker explosions in crematoria: problems and possible solutions.
The number of artificial cardiac pacemakers is increasing, as is the number of bodies being cremated. Because of the explosive potential of pacemakers when heated, a statutory question on the cremation form asks whether the deceased has a pacemaker and if so whether it has been removed. We sent a questionnaire to all the crematoria in the UK enquiring about the frequency, consequences and prevention of pacemaker explosions. We found that about half of all crematoria in the UK experience pacemaker explosions, that pacemaker explosions may cause structural damage and injury and that most crematoria staff are unaware of the explosive potential of implantable cardiac defibrillators. Crematoria staff rely on the accurate completion of cremation forms, and doctors who sign cremation forms have a legal obligation to provide such information. (+info)
Suitability of containers from different sources as breeding sites of Aedes aegypti (L.) in a cemetery of Buenos Aires City, Argentina.
Cemeteries are ideal urban areas to study the importance of different types of containers as breeding sites of Aedes aegypti (L.). In the present study, the suitability of plastic, glass, ceramic and metal containers was evaluated in four patches within a cemetery of Buenos Aires City, Argentina. Between October 1998 and May 2000, we found 215 breeding sites of Ae. aegypti out of 13,022 water-filled containers examined. In two patches containing microenvironments sheltered from the sun, the use of the different types of containers was proportional to the offer (correlation coefficient = 0.99, P < 0.05 in both cases). In the remaining patches, plastic and metal containers were the most and less frequent breeding sites, respectively (P < 0.001 in both cases). The number of immatures per breeding site (median = 4.5) did not show significant differences among the four types of containers examined (H3, 215 = 1.216, P = 0.749). Differences found in patches from a same cemetery suggest that different microenvironmental conditions affect the suitability of each type of container for Ae. aegypti breeding. Plastic containers appeared as key breeding sites that should be removed to reduce the Ae. aegypti population in the study area. (+info)