On porosity of archeological bones I - Textural characterization of pathological Spanish medieval human bones

Pedro Bosch, Carlos Moreno-Castilla, Zulamita Zapata-Benabithe, Inmaculada Alemán, Victor Hugo Lara, Josefina Mansilla, Carmen Pijoan, Miguel Botella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Bone texture may vary as a function of age, pathology as well as on bone treatments; thus absolute values of specific surface area or porosity are not often reported. A review of the anthropological and archeological references reveals that the results obtained with the current methodologies for the textural analysis of bone may be contradictory. Indeed, the characterization of archeological bone is a very difficult task through conventional techniques. Still, it is most relevant as porosity is the symptom of several pathologies, for instance anemia, osteoporosis, hyperostosis or syphilis.In this work, archeological bone samples - pathological or healthy - were characterized by nitrogen adsorption-desorption isotherms at -. 196. °C, small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The studied bones are healthy, osteoporotic, hyperostosic, and syphilitic. Porosity, specific surface area, and morphology as well as non conventional features such as roughness, specific surface or fractal dimension, are correlated with the well known macroscopical reported symptoms. The samples come from Moorish Andalucía (Grenade) and Medieval Catalonia (Poblet Monastery).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-492
Number of pages7
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
StatePublished - 5 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier B.V.


  • Gas adsorption
  • Granada
  • Poblet
  • Porosity
  • Small angle X-ray Scattering
  • Texture


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