This article describes and interprets pathological changes in two Iron Age horse skeletons from archaeological sites in southern England, which provide evidence of possible bacterial bone infection (bacterial osteomyelitis). The lesions identified in the two horse skeletons are compared to reported cases from veterinary literature, and the potential aetiological bacteria involved are discussed. Emphasis is placed in this article on the description of the lesions, so that the results can be used in future comparative work. To try and distinguish between the most likely pathogens responsible for the skeletal lesions, a biomolecular study was also used to screen extracts of pathological bone for members of the mycobacterial tuberculosis (MTB) complex and also for Brucella species. Previous research on bacterial disease has largely focussed on archaeological human populations, but the investigation of archaeological animal populations is also merited due to the potential inter-relationship between infectious disease in humans and animals living in close proximity. Only through such studies will our understanding of previous patterns of human-animal co-existence/co-habitation be advanced.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Archaeological Science|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2008|
- ancient DNA
- bacterial disease
- Iron Age