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J Forensic Leg Med. 2013 Nov;20(8):1018-23. doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2013.09.023. Epub 2013 Oct 5.

Fatal cranial injury in an individual from Messina (Sicily) during the times of the Roman Empire.

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Dipartimento di "Scienze e Tecnologie biologiche, chimiche e farmaceutiche" LabHomo, Laboratori di Antropologia, Universita' di Palermo (I), Via Archirafi, 18, 90123, Italy. Electronic address:


Forensic and archaeological examinations of human skeletons can provide us with evidence of violence. In this paper, we present the patterns of two cranial lesions found on an adult male (T173) buried in a grave in the necropolis 'Isolato 96', Messina, Sicily, dating back to the Roman Empire (1st century BC - 1st century AD). The skull reveals two perimortem traumatic lesions, one produced by a sharp object on the right parietal bone and the other one on the left parietal bone, presumably the result of a fall. The interpretation of fracture patterns found in this cranium are an illustration of how forensic approaches can be applied with great benefit to archaeological specimens.


Cranial trauma; Epidural hematoma; Forensic anthropology; Forensic sciences; Perimortem lesion; Roman Empire

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