A case of squamosal craniosynostosis from the 16th century Southeastern United States

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16 Scopus citations


This paper describes a case of plagiocephaly stemming from a unilateral synostosis of the left squamosal and coronal sutures in a 16th century calvaria from Georgia. Although cases of squamosal involvement in syndromic, multisuture synostotic cases have been found in the archaeological record, isolated squamosal involvement is quite rare. Our literature review found only 15 such cases reported, and this is the first case to be reported from the southeastern United States. Despite the fact that the bevelled nature of the squamosal suture is unique in the human body and that the cause for squamosal involvement remains unclear, to our knowledge there have been no reviews of the nosology and aetiology of synostosis with particular reference to the squamosal suture in the anthropological or clinical literature. Isolated squamosal craniosynostosis may be frequently unreported in clinical settings, and thus case studies on the condition in archaeological contexts may prove valuable for future attempts to identify the frequency and causes of squamosal involvement. This case study also highlights both the potential and challenges of using rare pathological conditions as a tool for positive identification of human remains in historical forensic cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-420
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Osteoarchaeology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Coronal suture
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Plagiocephaly
  • Southeastern United States
  • Squamosal suture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology


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