The first probable evidence of leprosy in a male individual (17th-19th century AD) unearthed in Northern Portugal (Travanca, Santa Maria da Feira) is a new article authored by Linda Melo, Vítor Matos, Ana Luísa Santos, Carlos Ferreira and Ana Maria Silva.
The work describes the first evidence of a probable paleopathological case of leprosy from northern Portugal and the authors hope that it will fill an important gap in the history of leprosy in Portugal. The article was published in the International Journal of Paleopathology.
The article is available in HERE.
This study describes the first evidence of a probable paleopathological case of leprosy from northern Portugal. An adult male, skeleton 403, exhumed from the Christian cemetery associated with the church dedicated to Saint Mamede (Travanca, Santa Maria da Feira), dated from the 17th-19th century AD. Standard bioarchaeological methods were used for sex and age-at-death determinations, and leprosy-related bone lesions were identified through macroscopic analysis guided by paleopathological diagnostic criteria. The macroscopic observation revealed probable leprosy-related skeletal lesions, namely tenuous rhinomaxillary changes, bilateral proliferative periosteal reactions on the tibiae and fibulae, as well as concentric atrophy, acro-osteolysis and ankyloses of foot bones. Skeleton 403 represents a probable case of leprosy according to the nature and distribution pattern of bony lesions observed.