Medieval human bones recovered in southeastern Türkiye shed light on past human anatomy

Study carried out by Diyarbakir-based Dicle University, Latvia-based Riga Stradins University to benefit surgical studies, says expert

Aziz Aslan  | 03.08.2023 - Update : 03.08.2023
Medieval human bones recovered in southeastern Türkiye shed light on past human anatomy


An analysis of bones from the Middle Ages unearthed 16 years ago during archaeological excavations in southeastern Türkiye has shed light on the anatomy of humans centuries ago.

After over two decades of excavations, experts at the Kortik Tepe mound in Diyarbakir province found that the lower jaw bones of male and female skeleton subjects differed in size and strength.

"We observed that, during the Middle Ages, the lower jawbones of men living in Kortik Tepe were strong and powerful, while the lower jawbone of women exhibited elegance," Vatan Kavak, a professor of anatomy at the province's Dicle University, told Anadolu.

"We also found that the lower jawbones of men in this region were stronger and sturdier compared to their counterparts in other parts of the world," added Kavak, who is one of the academics leading the dig site alongside Mara Pilmane of the Latvia-based Riga Stradins University.

The study examined the jawbones of 121 subjects — 55 women and 66 men — living in the Middle Ages near the Kortik Tepe mound. Their remains were being kept at the Diyarbakir Museum Directorate and were loaned for the research carried out in cooperation with the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The results of the study were published in the international journal Translational Research in Anatomy.

Kavak said they particularly examined the jaw structure of the skeletons.

He added that the more delicate jaw bones of women indicated they were more involved in "domestic chores and not in hunting and other activities."

"When we compared them with the women of other regions, we found that the women living in Kortik Tepe were the most elegant," he added.

"With agriculture beginning around that time, men hunted wild animals outside and ate them without cooking, while also consuming grain-based meals, which led to the strengthening of their jaws," he explained.

Noting that the study's results were published in an international scientific journal, Kavak pointed out that they could be helpful to surgeons.

"Our work will be a guide for jaw, implant, and aesthetic surgeons in the future," he underlined.

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.
Related topics
Bu haberi paylaşın