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A 6,000-Year-Old Nobleman

Story of a Skeleton

Examination of the skeleton has provided a picture, not always all that appealing, of the nobleman’s appearance.

The examination of the cranium that showed that the nobleman’s nose turned sharply to the left, probably due to illness or a fracture he received in his youth. Loss of his upper front teeth and the supporting bone apparently resulted in sunken cheeks and pursed lips, which would have made him look old for his age. The numerous abscess cavities around the roots of his remaining teeth point to severe periodontal disease, which undoubtedly made it painful to chew.

In contrast to the aged appearance of his face, the nobleman’s arm and leg bones were thick and sturdy, indicating that he was physically active. The right arm bones were thicker than those of the left arm, suggesting that in his youth, he used his right arm in an exceptionally strenuous manner, perhaps for drawing a bow.

Toward the end of his life, the nobleman broke his left fibula just above the ankle. The fracture, probably caused by a fall or a blow from a blunt object, healed two to three months before he died. Since there were no signs of infection or deformity, we may assume that this was not the cause of death.

למאגר התערוכות , מוזיאון ישראל | מוזיאון ישראל, ירושלים | כל הזכויות שמורות © מוזיאון ישראל, ירושלים 1995-
To The Israel Museum Exhibition Online | The Israel Museum, Jerusalem | Copyright © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem 1995-