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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10277/605

Authors: Sguazza, Emanuela
Title: Il sepolcreto dell’Ospedale Maggiore (Ca’ Granda) di Milano: indagini antropologiche di un singolare contesto di resti commisti
Abstract: Recently lots of human inhumations have been found in the burial chambers of Milan ancient hospital (Ospedale Maggiore commonly named Ca’ Granda). This institution was able to provide free medical assistance for the poorest of the city and to improve efficiency in healthcare starting from the 15th century. Actually, only people suffering from acute diseases could be admitted to this hospital. The Ca’ Granda connected the concept of charity with the therapeutic ideas, being a model for similar institutions in Italy and all over Europe. The commingled human remains found into the burial chambers represent an extraordinary biological and historical archive remarkable for the large amount of bones (over 2.000.000 remains estimated) and the uniqueness of the context. In fact, according to the historical sources, the osteological findings refer to the deceased population from the 17th century onwards. In order to outline the main features of this context, standard macroscopic and microscopic anthropological and paleopathological analyses have been carried out. In addition, toxicological, chemical and entomological studies have been conducted. Furthermore, taphonomic modifications have been observed. Results allow to classify the context as a long-term usage commingled assemblage, indicative of long-term use of the same burial space through time, sometimes over hundreds years, as confirmed by the entomological study. The population seems to be heterogeneous both from sex and age, showing remains belonging to males and females of all age classes, even foetuses. Paleopathological studies reveal the presence of signs referring to lots of different diseases, such as osteoarthritis, erosive arthropathies, congenital anomalies, metabolic disorders, dental diseases. Particularly interesting are the infectious pathologies, especially the signs of syphilis, and the evidences of trauma. Results also show how important laboratory analyses may be in providing additional pieces of the complex puzzle of palaeopathological analysis. This study represents a remarkable case of commingled human remains and highlights the importance of a multidisciplinary approach.
Keywords: Cà Granda, resti commisti, analisi antropologiche, paleopatologia, commingled remains, ancient hospital, anthropological analysis, paleopathology
Issue Date: 2016
Language: ita
Doctoral course: Medicina e Scienze Umane
Academic cycle: 28
Publisher: Università degli Studi dell'Insubria
Citation: Sguazza, E.Il sepolcreto dell’Ospedale Maggiore (Ca’ Granda) di Milano: indagini antropologiche di un singolare contesto di resti commisti (Doctoral Thesis, Università degli Studi dell'Insubria, 2016).

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