Extreme osteoporosis in a sixth century skeleton from the Negev desert

A. Joseph Foldes, Anka Moscovici, Mordecai M. Popovtzer, Paul Mogle, Daniel Urman, Joe Zias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Osteoporosis was probably rare in ancient times due to the short life expectancy. An extremely osteopaenic skeleton of an adult female who lived in the Negev Desert c. AD 500 was studied using radiology, bone densitometry and histomorphometry. Possible aetiologic factors are discussed, with special emphasis on calcium and/or vitamin D deficiency, because nutritional deficiency has been described in Bedouin women who retain traditional dietary habits resembling those prevalent in the Negev region in antiquity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-162
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Osteoarchaeology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1995


  • bone histomorphometry
  • bone mineral density
  • osteoporosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology


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