Biomechanical stress

Bone responds to its environment and expresses wear and tear based on use and chronic inflammation. One particular biomechanical stress that can be directly assessed with the

Figure 4.29 Videoendoscopic images of pulmonary pathologies in a Chachapoya mummy in Leymebamba, Peru. The image on the left suggests pulmonary fibrotic changes, whereas the image on the right is of a lung suggesting emphysema. Note the large pockets, perhaps caused by loss of lung tissue seen in emphysema.

Figure 4.29 Videoendoscopic images of pulmonary pathologies in a Chachapoya mummy in Leymebamba, Peru. The image on the left suggests pulmonary fibrotic changes, whereas the image on the right is of a lung suggesting emphysema. Note the large pockets, perhaps caused by loss of lung tissue seen in emphysema.

Figure 4.30 Videoendoscopic images of the trachea of a mummy from Pachacamac. The image on the left shows proximal tracheal rings with distal tracheal narrowing. The narrowing is likely due to a peritracheal lymphadenopathy encroaching on the tracheal lumen. The image on the right is a closer view of the narrowing.

Figure 4.30 Videoendoscopic images of the trachea of a mummy from Pachacamac. The image on the left shows proximal tracheal rings with distal tracheal narrowing. The narrowing is likely due to a peritracheal lymphadenopathy encroaching on the tracheal lumen. The image on the right is a closer view of the narrowing.

Figure 4.31 Videoendoscopic images of meningeal grooves on the inner table of the skull.
Figure 4.32 Radiograph showing videoendoscope position at the location of a pulmonary calcification. The resultant endoscopic image of the lesion (arrow) is shown on the right.
Figure 4.33 Videoendoscope image of a renal stone (arrow) removal procedure using the lap-aroscopic method.

VE is arthritis. Arthritis of the spine (Figure 4.34), hip, shoulder, and knees can all be imaged and documented. Other biomechanical stresses that may be seen could be enlarged insertion points for skeletal muscles on the long bones indicating repetitive activity, such as rowing, in which the deltoid tuberosity would be enlarged. The significance of arthritis identification and its location is threefold. First, arthritis identification can help in determination of age at the time of death when used along with other indicators. Second, the location of the arthritis can help determine the type of repetitive work the individual may have been involved with. And third, little arthritis in an older individual may indicate higher status within a group or population. Old, bony fractures can also be assessed (Figure 4.35).

Figure 4.34 Videoendoscopic images showing vertebral abnormalities. severe arthritic changes are seen on the left with vertebral fusing seen on the right.

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Figure 4.35 Healing rib fracture on a mummified canine (three views). Mechanism of Death

Figure 4.35 Healing rib fracture on a mummified canine (three views). Mechanism of Death

It is on rare occasions that the VE can assist in determining the mechanism of death. If there has been a traumatic injury to the skull, the angle of impact can be seen by bevel analysis from within the cranial vault. Skull fractures can be examined along the fracture line to determine if there has been any bony healing, which helps in determining if the fracture occurred near or around the time of death. Exit wounds from projectile injury can be assessed. On one occasion, a dart within the shoulder complex of a Chachapoya mummy in Leymebamba, Peru, perhaps with a poisoned tip, was located by x-ray and visualized by videoendoscopy (Figure 4.36). Often, the data collected are only suggestive and not definitive for mechanism of death; however, the data once collected and recorded can be assessed in combination with the results of other imaging modalities.

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