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This cranium is from an individual from Post-Medieval Wolverhampton who has multiple benign fibro-osseous tumours.


Multiple ectocranial osteoblastic lesions are located across the cranium, focused mainly on the frontal and occipital.  The majority of these bony protrusions are smooth and contiguous with the original/normal cortical surface. However, two located on the occipital are partially lobulated in appearance, with defined inferior margins. The frontal has at least five lesions: one on the right zygomatic process, one on the right temporal line, one adjacent to the left temporal line, one inferior to glabella on the left side, and one adjacent to the coronal suture on the right side.  Here, the largest protrusion is on the right supraorbital margin/zygomatic process and measures c. 19.2mm mediolateral x 24.4mm superoinferior.  Two protrusions are visible on the right and one on the left parietal adjacent to the lambdoid suture.  The occipital has at least seven large protrusions, five occurring centrally along sutra mendosa, the largest being c.25mm in diameter, and two adjacent to the lambdoidal suture.  In this same area on the left side is a cluster of very small irregular nodules of bone.

The diagnosis of this pathology remains uncertain.  Ortner (203, 521-524) present a similar case, which is diagnosed as fibro-osseous tumours.  These tumours are benign and slow growing.

Co-existing Pathology:

Bilaterally are central areas of joint surface destruction on the articular tubercles of the tempomandibular joint (the left side is partially obscured by taphonomic damage).

References Cited:

Ortner DJ. 2003. Identification of pathological conditions in human skeletal remains. London: Academic Press.

Disease Classification:

Developmental-dysplastic-fibro-osseous tumours

Neoplastic-benign-fibro-osseous tumours

Miscellaneous-temporomandibular joint disease