Health and disease in a Roman walled city: an example of Colonia Iulia Iader

Mario Novak, Mario Slaus
2010 Journal of Anthropological Sciences  
The paper presents the results of the bioarchaeological study of a Roman period (3rd-5th century) skeletal sample from Zadar, Croatia with the focus on subadult stress indicators (cribra orbitalia and dental enamel hypoplasia) and indicators of non-specific infectious diseases (periostitis). The total frequency of cribra orbitalia, an indicator of iron deficiency anaemia, in Zadar is 20.1%. Half of the subadult skeletons from Zadar exhibit signs of cribra orbitalia, of which two are in active
more » ... rm. Adults not affected by cribra orbitalia lived on average 4.5 years longer than individuals affected by this pathological change. Total frequency of dental enamel hypoplasia in adults is 61.1% with somewhat higher frequency in females. The frequency of periostitis in subadults (66.7%) is significantly higher than in adults (30.4%). A positive correlation was established between cribra orbitalia and periostitis in males. The presented data suggest relatively low quality of life in Roman Zadar, most probably due to the overcrowding inside the walled city which led to deterioration of sanitary conditions and the occurrence of infectious diseases.
pmid:20834058 fatcat:r4iqis4tmzgbnp264j7ugt5lni