Break a leg: Bone fractures in Icelandic archaeological records

by Haraldur Þór Hammer Haraldsson 1983

Institution: University of Iceland
Year: 2015
Keywords: Fornleifafræði
Record ID: 1221490
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/20943


The aim of this thesis is to catalogue and categorize fractures from four different archaeological sites in Iceland, all from different periods in time. The information gathered has been put into chronological perspective with statistics such as individuals age at death, sex and side of the body affected by fracture. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used to find correlations between the sites, age of individuals, sex and side of the body affected by fractures will be discussed, along with specific cases and fractures. Most frequent fracture within each category were assessed to see if there are certain fractures that occur more often than in other categories. Fractures to each bone or bone group were described then linked to the fracture sample compiled for this thesis. The results showed no discernible correlation between sites, but yielded interesting information, especially that no rib fractures were observed from the site that represented the Middle-Ages. Further pathological analysis will have to be conducted in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the manner of how fractures occurred to the people of Iceland from its very settlement to early modern times.