A new approach to recording nasal fracture in skeletonized individuals
is the title of the new paper authored by Bruno Magalhães, Simon Mays and Ana Luísa Santos, that describes a new method for recording nasal fracture in skeletonized individuals and it is focused at improving our ability to distinguish the direction and type of impact that caused the injury and, in particular, whether, at a population or sub-group level, such injuries are likely to be predominantly due to violence or to other causes.
This work describes a new method for recording nasal fracture in skeletonized individuals, suitable for use in biocultural studies of violence and fracture in past societies. The method consists in recording the ‘side of fracture’, ‘side of deviation’, ‘type of fracture’, ‘other facial fractures’, and stage of ‘bone remodeling’. A lateral impact force to the facial area is typical of interpersonal violence. This may result in a unilateral nasal fracture and/or a laterally deviated nose. Given the predominance of right-handedness in human populations, side of fracture and, especially, side of deviation, may be useful indices of interpersonal violence. As regards fracture type, although a distal fracture of the nasal bones is the most common type, their comminution may be associated with higher impact forces. The presence of other facial fractures may also be an indicator of high-energy impacts. Different patterns of nasal trauma may be consistent with different etiologies.