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Other interesting human remains

The human remains from TT99 were first studied in the 1998 season, and some idea of the results may be gained from looking at the relevant section of the Report on the Season. There are other sections here showing finds of known persons, but here we reproduce two examples of uncertain date, noted in that report. Both texts reproduced below the photos are by Tony Waldron.

skull with holes

The first is a male skull with a number of holes in it. The holes are of varying size but all have the typical appearance of cancer which has spread from a primary site elsewhere in the body. Relatively few cancers spread from the soft tissues to bone and in a male the most likely source of origin is cancer of the lung. The background incidence of lung cancer is relatively low and it is only with the widespread habit of cigarette smoking that the disease has achieved such prominence in the modern world; a case in antiquity, while not unique, is nevertheless of considerable importance.


The second case is one of tuberculosis in a young child of perhaps 6 years of age. The disease has affected the spine to a great degree, entirely destroying the bodies of some of the lumbar vertebrae resulting in spinal collapse and a sharp angulation of the spine, sometimes referred to as Pott's disease. It was fortunate that most of the spine from this child was preserved and it can be seen that the disease has affected several of the other vertebrae.

© Tony Waldron 1999

© Nigel Strudwick 1997-2018