Developmental Fusion of the Malleus and Incus in a Late 19th-Century Case of Aural Atresia
Article first published online: 15 SEP 2011
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
International Journal of Osteoarchaeology
Volume 23, Issue 5, pages 612–617, September/October 2013
How to Cite
Swanston, T., Carter, Y., Hopkins, C., Walker, E. G. and Cooper, D. M. L. (2013), Developmental Fusion of the Malleus and Incus in a Late 19th-Century Case of Aural Atresia. Int. J. Osteoarchaeol., 23: 612–617. doi: 10.1002/oa.1286
- Issue published online: 7 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 15 SEP 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 7 AUG 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 28 JUL 2011
- Manuscript Received: 2 MAR 2011
- auditory ossicles
A pathological condition, aural atresia, was discovered associated with human remains recovered from a late 19th-century Catholic cemetery 2 km south of Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada. Aural atresia, a congenital condition that results in a non-existent external auditory meatus, was apparent on the right temporal bone of the remains of a young adult male. A complete osteological and contextual assessment, which included the use of a SkyScan 1172 micro-CT scanner on the pathological incus that was recovered, indicated that the right incus and malleus had fused during early embryological development. The artifacts associated with this individual included a pocket mirror that may have represented a connection to the practice of oralism due to the discouragement of sign language by the authorities in that time period. The combination of advanced bone imaging and a complete contextual analysis suggests a differential diagnosis of nonfunctional hearing associated with the right ear, and the individual may have used a different means of communication. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.