Interpreting injury recidivism in a rural post-medieval male individual from Bucelas, Portugal

Nathalie Antunes-Ferreira, Carlos Prates, Francisco Curate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Injury recidivism studies assess the lived experience of individuals who endure multiple traumatic incidents, conveying a nuanced contextualization of individual suffering within a reticulate of social and cultural processes. During a recent archaeological excavation, a skeleton of a middle-aged male dating to the 17th–18th centuries AD was excavated in the churchyard of the Chapel of the Holy Spirit in Bucelas (Portugal). This individual exhibited a mixture of healed and healing fractures that prompted poor functional long-term outcomes and an increase in the risk of death. Macroscopic and medical imaging (computerized tomography) analyses revealed lesions in the right shoulder, right and left ribs, fifth right proximal phalanx and right distal femur. Fracture complications include myositis ossificans and chronic osteomyelitis. The results are interpreted in the broader sociocultural circumstances of Bucelas during the early modern period, in order to investigate the causes of this individual's accumulated trauma and the possibility of health-related care associated with it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243– 251
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Osteoarchaeology
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • care
  • fractures
  • injury recidivism
  • myositis ossificans
  • osteomyelitis
  • palaeopathology
  • post-medieval


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