Paleopathology of the commoners at Tell Amarna, Egypt, Akhenaten's capital city

Jerome C Rose
2006 Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz  
The Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten initiated worship of a single god and established a new capital city (Tell Amarna) that was built and occupied only once from 1350-1330 BCE. This single short occupation offers a unique opportunity to study a short time period. The royal tombs have long been known and studied, but the location of graves for the common inhabitants has been an archaeological puzzle for more than 50 years. Recently four cemeteries have been located and the analysis of commingled
more » ... from the South Tombs cemetery is presented here. The remains yield the following demographic profile: 53 adults with 19 females and 18 males; 14 juveniles between the ages of 5 and 17; and 3 infants. Arthritis and degenerative joint disease of the spine and joints indicates that DJD was not excessive. Only 2 to 8% of the adult population exhibits arthritis. There are 3 healed fractures of the arm (2 to 8% of the adult sample). There is 1 healed compressed fracture of the skull suggesting violence. The adult infection rate is between 2 and 8% with 3 healed and 1 active case of periostitis and no severe infections. Anemia is implicated by 23% of adult frontals exhibiting cribra orbitalia. Life for the common residents of Amarna appears to not have been as good as initially postulated.
doi:10.1590/s0074-02762006001000013 pmid:17308813 fatcat:odwhhjud5bcbhgtmqdkbym2bwu