Considering care: A traumatic obturator fracture dislocation of the hip in a middle-aged man from Gaelic Medieval Ballyhanna, Co. Donegal, Ireland

Catriona J. McKenzie, Eileen M. Murphy, Ian Watt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
53 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objective: This article explores the potential care provided to a middle-aged man who had a suite of injuries evident in his skeleton, most notably an obturator fracture dislocation in his left hip.
Materials: The skeleton derived from the Late Medieval Gaelic population buried at Ballyhanna, Co. Donegal, Ireland.
Methods: A transdisciplinary bioarchaeology of care approach was adopted to undertake a phenomenological study of an individual with an acquired disability.
Results: The man would have required intensive nursing care in the months following the initial injury, and longer-term accommodations may have been made by the wider community to support him.
Conclusions: Use of a transdisciplinary bioarchaeology of care approach enables important insights to be gained concerning the social impact of disability on the affected individual, his kin, and wider community.
Significance: This study achieves a new level of integration of bioarchaeological findings with archaeological, historical, and ethno-historical sources, thereby enabling a phenomenological approach to interpretation of life after acquired disability. This is the first study to allow such an intimate insight into lived experience and it provides a model for bioarchaeology of care analysis of individuals from historical eras.
Limitations: These iInclude difficulties in identifying the nature of a long-standing complex injury.
Suggestions for future research: Further explorations of the bioarchaeology of care in historical time periods should incorporate a similarly wide range of transdisciplinary sources to enrich interpretations of the lived experiences of individuals, their care-givers and broader communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-122
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Paleopathology
Volume38
Early online date28 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

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