An assortment of palaeopathological findings from the anthropological collection of the Institute of Archaeology in Prague in funds of the National Museum
Jakub Likovský, Petra Stránská, Petr Velemínský
In 1991, an assortment of palaeopathological findings on human skeletal remains, collected during several decades in the Department of Anthropology, later in the Department of Natural Sciences of the Institute of Archaeology of the Czech Academyof Sciences in Prague was transferred together with the anthropological collections to the Department of Anthropology of the National Museum, Prague. The Department of Anthropology was founded in the Institute of Archaeology in the year 1950. Foundations for the assortment of pathological findings on skeletal remains of past populations were laid by the founder of the department, RNDr. Jaromír Chochol, CSc. (1926–1990) who primarily collected them as material usable in teaching students of prehistory in the Faculty of Philosophy of Charles University in Prague. Among the findings, the most frequent are degenerative, traumatic and inflammatory conditions. However, a series of unique findings is also involved in the assortment, among them the oldest case of tuberculosis in the Czech region dated into the Eneolithic and several findings of primeval trepanations. Also several examples of the so-called pseudopathologies are included in the presented assortment of findings. The palaeopathological diagnoses were newly revised and the findings were provided with new documentation. Individual pathological findings will now be united with residual parts of their skeletons from which they were once taken into the assortment of palaeopathological findings. It must be admitted, that by such arrangement, the assortment of palaeopathological findings will be dispersed but the newly compiled documentation makes it possible to better treat both the material and the palaeopathological findings which thus may be better used as educational, comparative and instructional material.