ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
[personal profile] ossamenta
Yesterday I found the bone of the week. A sheep (or possibly goat, but considering the lack of goats in the assemblage and the presence of several sheep bones, most likely sheep) pelvis that had been fractured across the ischium and pubis*. Unfortunately the rest of the ischium and the pubis couldn't be found in the assemblage. The bone had not healed, but pathological changes show that the animal had survived and lived for several months (?) before it died. I was quite surprised, since this major trauma would have caused a significant limp, which must have been obvious to the sheep herder/owner.

*: For the uninitiated, the pelvis consists of three bones, the ilium (the shaft which attaches to the sacrum), the ischium (to the rear) and the pubis (to the front) which all meet at the hip socket (acetabulum). Well, technically, the pelvis is the sacrum and the two innominate halves, but I'm being lazy here...


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For orientation: the acetabulum is in the middle, ilium at the top, ischium below and the pubis to the right.

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Together with a normal pelvis (right). The ilium was sawn off when the carcass was butchered..

Date: 2012-03-25 02:07 am (UTC)
ragnvaeig: (Viking)
From: [personal profile] ragnvaeig
I have no idea what the survival of an injured sheep might imply (that it was someone's last ewe, that the shepherd or driver wasn't an invested owner, that the sheep wandered off from summer pasture and was found much later...), but that's pretty fascinating!

Date: 2012-03-25 01:04 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Cool! I've never see a fracture there before. I'd agree, all the excess bone growth around the fracture site suggests it survived the injury for a fair amount of time because I would presume it was trying to stabilise the injury; I have seen that sort of false joint formation on other bones before.

Was there any sign of secondary infection?

Stephanie Vann

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