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Virtual histological assessment of the prenatal life history and age at death of the Upper Paleolithic fetus from Ostuni (Italy)

Nava, Alessia, Coppa, Alfredo, Coppola, Donato, Mancini, Lucia, Dreossi, Diego, Zanini, Franco, Bernardini, Federico, Tuniz, Claudio, Bondioli, Luca (2017) Virtual histological assessment of the prenatal life history and age at death of the Upper Paleolithic fetus from Ostuni (Italy). Scientific Reports, 7 . Article Number 9427. E-ISSN 2045-2322. (doi:10.1038/s41598-017-09773-2) (KAR id:82956)

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The fetal remains from the Ostuni 1 burial (Italy, ca 27 ka) represent a unique opportunity to explore the prenatal biological parameters, and to reconstruct the possible patho-biography, of a fetus (and its mother) in an Upper Paleolithic context. Phase-contrast synchrotron X-ray microtomography imaging of two deciduous tooth crowns and microfocus CT measurements of the right hemimandible of the Ostuni 1b fetus were performed at the SYRMEP beamline and at the TomoLab station of the Elettra - Sincrotrone laboratory (Trieste, Italy) in order to refne age at death and to report the enamel developmental history and dental tissue volumes for this fetal individual. The virtual histology allowed to estimate the age at death of the fetus at 31–33 gestational weeks. Three severe physiological stress episodes were also identifed in the prenatal enamel. These stress episodes occurred during the last two months and half of pregnancy and may relate to the death of both individuals. Compared with modern prenatal standards, Os1b’s skeletal development was advanced. This cautions against the use of modern skeletal and dental references for archaeological fnds and emphasizes the need for more studies on prenatal archaeological skeletal samples.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1038/s41598-017-09773-2
Uncontrolled keywords: archaeology, biological anthropology
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Alessia Nava
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2020 15:17 UTC
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2022 11:46 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Nava, Alessia:
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