Scientific article
Open access

Cases of serpens endocrania symmetrica in young individuals from Neolithic Western Switzerland: Description and interpretation

Publication date2020

Endocranial lesions known as serpens endocrania symmetrica (SES) appear relatively frequently in the paleopathological record, but their significance often goes undiscussed. For the past decade, however, research has proved conclusively that their presence is an indicator of illnesses within the corpus. As such, cases found in the archaeological record can provide clues as to the kinds of diseases that prehistoric populations endured. We report four cases of young individuals from Neolithic Western Switzerland bearing SES on their craniums and discuss the implications of such findings in terms of the paleopathological profile of these populations. The following article provides documentation for each case as well as a differential diagnosis including tuberculosis, meningitis, trauma, and metabolic conditions such as scurvy. These four individuals represent the oldest cases of such lesions described for this region.

  • Europe
  • Préhistoire
  • Archéologie
  • Suisse
  • Néolithique
  • Bioanthropologie
  • Anthropologie
  • Paléopathologie
  • Maladies infecteuses
Citation (ISO format)
ABEGG, Claudine et al. Cases of <i>serpens endocrania symmetrica</i> in young individuals from Neolithic Western Switzerland: Description and interpretation. In: International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 2020. doi: 10.1002/oa.2863
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1047-482X

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