Bioarchaeology of the Near East, 14:51-60 (2020)

A Late Roman-period case of hallux valgus from Ashqelon, Israel

Yossi Nagar* (1), Sarah Borgel (2), Tali Erickson-Gini (1)

(1) Israel Antiquities Authority,
P.O.B. 586 Jerusalem, Israel
email: (corresponding author)
(2) Department of Anatomy and Anthropology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine,
The Shmunis Family Anthropology Institute,
The Dan-David Center for Human Evolution and Biohistory Research,
Tel Aviv University,
Klausner St. 12, Tel Aviv-Yafo 69978, Israel

Abstract: A rare case of bilateral hallux valgus in an adult individual, identified as a female aged 50+ years, was identified in a Late Roman Period (4th century CE) context near Tel Ashqelon. The body, buried in a lead coffin, was covered with gold threads and had high-quality glass vessels as burial goods, attesting to the high socio-economic status of this individual, who was probably of non-Jewish affiliation. The manifestation of hallux valgus in this individual is described and discussed in the regional context.

Key words: physical anthropology; lead coffin; Late Antiquity; palaeopathology

Received 15 November 2020; accepted 21 May 2021; published online 28 June 2021.

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