In an early view article from the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, authors Rubini, Cerroni, and Zaio report on the earliest known case of spondylocarpotarsal (SCT) synostosis, found in a middle-aged woman from the Imperial period site of Grottaferrata, near Frascati in the Roman suburbs. The skeleton was found within a large cemetery population (that is completely unpublished in English and, to my knowledge, is not published in Italian either), and the woman's bones were carbon dated to 50-125 AD.
|40-45-year-old woman with |
SCT syndrome, from Grottaferrata
(credit: Rubini and colleagues, IJOA)
Because of the provenance of the find - the bioarchaeology of Imperial Rome is my wheelhouse, and when I work at Gabii, we stay quite near Grottaferrata - I was interested to learn more about this skeleton and the diagnosis. I can't imagine I'll ever find something like this, since it's such a rare condition, but it was an interesting read.
Rubini M, Cerroni V, & Zaio P (2011). The Earliest Case of Spondylocarpotarsal Synostosis Syndrome (Roman Age—2nd Century AD). International Journal of Osteoarchaeology (Early View).