A computed tomography study on two skulls of mistreated dogs from the Roman Age

  • V. Farina | vfarina@uniss.it
  • A. Mura
  • V. Petruzzi
  • G. Lepore
  • E. Mura
  • F. Balzano
  • L. Macciotta
  • M. Zedda


The study of ancient skeletons is of high interest, as the relationship between men and animals can be reconstructed. In dogs, head injuries frequently result from direct physical traumas. The excavation of a prehistoric well (Genomi, Sardinia) brought to light sixty canine bones of the Age Roman (2nd century AD), although this well was built during the Nuragic Age. (1st millennium BC). Two canine skulls showing three traumatic lesions underwent computed tomography in order to study the endocast of the brain cavity and indirectly locate possible brain lesions. In the first case, a traumatic lesion was found in the left parietal bone with depression of the outer surface. This lesion determined compression of the left frontal cortex and was compatible with life, as can be deduced by the inflammation of the periostenum. In the second case, two different traumatic lesions were found. The former was a wide fracture of the right frontal bone near the orbital cavity. The injured area showed clear signs of bone remodeling which took place many months before death. The latter was a severe comminuted fracture involving both the outer and inner surface of the left frontal bone, which provoked a deep wound in the left frontal cortex. The sharp outline of bone splinters with no signs of bone remodelling indicates that the trauma was not compatible with life. All lesions described were consequent to severe blows from humans and testify mistreatment of dogs in the Roman Age.



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Original Articles
skulls, mistreated dogs, Roman Age, computed tomography
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How to Cite
Farina, V., Mura, A., Petruzzi, V., Lepore, G., Mura, E., Balzano, F., Macciotta, L., & Zedda, M. (2013). A computed tomography study on two skulls of mistreated dogs from the Roman Age. Journal of Biological Research - Bollettino Della Società Italiana Di Biologia Sperimentale, 86(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/jbr.2013.3668