Skeletal Paleopathology of Human Remains From Cemetery R37 at Harappa, excavated in 1987 and 1988

Typical primary burial in Cemetery R37, with skeleton in extended supine position, head to the north (H87/127a)

Excavations at the archaeological site of Harappa, Pakistan in 1987 and 1988 uncovered the remains of at least 92 individuals (84 adults and 8 juveniles), although only 19 were complete skeletons in primary contexts. This report describes the frequencies and expressions of joint disease, trauma, congenital and developmental disorders, hematopoietic disorders, infection and inflammation, metabolic disorders, and neoplasia in these remains and in an additional adult skeleton, excavated in 1967 and displayed in the Harappa Museum. Fourteen of the 20 complete adult skeletons in
primary contexts exhibited pathological lesions on bones. An additional 14 burial features of secondary deposits included remains with pathological lesions. The most common condition was joint disease, which affected 10 individuals, mainly in the spine, followed by trauma, which affected five individuals. Periosteal reactions on long bones, benign osteomas on the cranium, and two possible cases of anomalous development of the skeleton were also noted.