We would like to thank York Archaeological Trust (YAT) for the opportunity to present to you this fantastic example of advanced ankylosing spondylitis from Swinegate, York (1989-90.28).
This is SK55 (3505) with ankylosed seventh cervical to tenth thoracic, first to seventh right ribs and first to eighth left ribs.
The vertebral column has continuous smooth fusion anteriorly through the formation of syndesmophytes, giving the inferior portion if the spine a “bamboo”- like appearance. There is also fusion posteriorly between the vertebrae through the articular facets and ossification of ligamenta flava. The ribs are fused to the vertebrae through ossification of their anterior and posterior ligamentous attachments. There would have been further vertebral fusion of the superior lumbar vertebrae, evidenced by the calcification of the intervertebral disc on the inferior surface of the body of the tenth thoracic vertebra. The superior articular facets of the seventh cervical vertebra have heavy pitting and porosity.