' The lameness of king Philip II .'

Discuss Philip's achievements and Macedonia pre-Alexander

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Efstathios
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Re: ' The lameness of king Philip II .'

Post by Efstathios »

I don't know if it has been mentioned but the leg with the knee wound that has been found did not come from the tombs at Vergina. At least this is what prof. Xirotiris said, as he personally send the remains from tomb I to Thessaloniki to be examined, by Andronikos request. He mentioned that there was no such part among the remains, if there was one, Andronikos himself would have probably formed different conclusions about the occupants at tomb I and II. Also, he mentioned that the wound seemed to have been left unattended, something that wouldn't have happened in the case of a King, and of course Philip was able to fight battles after the injury.

I couldn't find the article in English, so here is the original. http://www.kathimerini.gr/825272/articl ... pokalyyeis
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Re: ' The lameness of king Philip II .'

Post by agesilaos »

Sad fact is that the photo reproduced in Mcleod as Fig 7 clearly shows Bartsiokis' bones in situ, in Tomb I will edit in the link.

http://theses.ucalgary.ca/handle/11023/1562

Photo sourced to the volume Xirotiris mentions, 'Vergina II: the Tomb of Persephone' by Andronikos, her ref p viii. Nor does an appeal for Andronikos to be allowed to publish this wash, he is dead and unlikely to publish! That the remains of Tomb I were not examined fully is understandable once the treasures in Tomb II came to light and Xirotiris and Langschieldt did a good job on the remains from that tomb, but look at fig 7 and tell me you cannot see the same ankylosis. This sort of riposte does no credit to Greek archaeology, there are certainly problems with Bartsiokis' conclusions but the telling points have not even been mentioned, instead there is a flurry of nonsense which collapses under examination. Perhaps you could write a letter to the appropriate paper simply asking whether a man with such an injury could have made a feigned retreat at Chaironeia? It looks unlikely to me and impossible to Xenophon, and it is only my natural caution that does not put me in the 'Camp of Certainty'.

Seriously, a voice of reason might embarrass these 'professionals' back to common sense, if I can see the flaws in both sides arguments I do not believe that any thinking person cannot, therefore, much as at Kastas emotions are clouding the analysis.
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Re: ' The lameness of king Philip II .'

Post by Xenophon »

Agesilaos wrote:
Perhaps you could write a letter to the appropriate paper simply asking whether a man with such an injury could have made a feigned retreat at Chaironeia? It looks unlikely to me and impossible to Xenophon, and it is only my natural caution that does not put me in the 'Camp of Certainty'.
A simple practical experiment will prove instructive. The ankylosed knee was permanently bent through an angle of 80 degrees - almost a right angle. [see attached].
Support your weight on a table or dining chair, and flex your knee to a right angle. Does your foot touch the floor? No, of course not, nor even anywhere near it! :shock: [ I won't ask people to twist it through 30 degrees as well !! ].

This individual not only could not walk, save with the aid of crutches, but he couldn't stand unsupported either. The attached shows a supposed "reconstruction" but as can be seen it is incorrect regarding the angle of the ankylosis ( being much less than 80 degrees), and hence is completely misleading.....
Attachments
showing 80 degree fusion angle
showing 80 degree fusion angle
Philip tomb 1 fused leg bone and hole.jpg (33.95 KiB) Viewed 6402 times
angle of limb incorrect and misleading
angle of limb incorrect and misleading
Bartsiokas reconstruction of king-philip-ii-macedonia.jpg (93.39 KiB) Viewed 6402 times
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Re: ' The lameness of king Philip II .'

Post by Zebedee »

The more I read the more I'm reminded of the old hoary (apocryphal) tale of Alexander asking Diogenes why he was studying a pile of bones. "I'm looking for the bones of your father, but I can't tell them apart from those of a slave".

I suppose one places some hope in them being able to pull out some DNA evidence and being able to build up likely relationships through that. It would hopefully at least point towards bodies placed in the tombs at a later date. A slender reed to lean on, I know.
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Re: ' The lameness of king Philip II .'

Post by agesilaos »

But there is little chance of there being DNA in the cremains of Tombs II and III, they might just get some data from the teeth from Tomb I, but nothing against which to compare it; one would not expect shared DNA between bride and groom, unless one was in Louisiana :shock:
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Re: ' The lameness of king Philip II .'

Post by Zebedee »

True enough, though I think there have been some claimed advances depending on just how, well, cremated the remains are (and even there concerns over contamination leading the tests astray). Slender hopes for sure all the same.
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Re: ' The lameness of king Philip II .'

Post by agesilaos »

Material from within teeth still set in a jaw should be free from contamination, similarly that from the inside of bone sections (generally used for strontium isotopic testing; which can indicate areas where skeletons grew up); in the future new techniques will arise, and that is a good reason to eschew destructive analysis now. At the moment these remains are hopelessly compromised, with stray collections of bones emerging from various University vaults and no control over their handling nor even their provenance; but we should not judge, the Americans have demolished large parts of ancient Babylon to make firebases (no wonder they won't spend dollar one to defend Palmyra!). These days things ought to be different and the investigation of Kastas demonstrates that methods have improved at the expense of information.

With the Greek economy collapsing the alleged EU has a cultural duty to provide dedicated funds for the preservation and investigation of Europe's cultural heritage, but the barbarians are already passed the gates...(when you begin to hear crowds, time to stop; the same works for Elgar or any suitable composer :?
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Re: ' The lameness of king Philip II .'

Post by Xenophon »

A final nail in the coffin of Bartsiokas et al’s theory regarding the fused leg bone from tomb1 and the identification of this person as Philip II?

As a postscript to this thread, I wonder if anyone is at all convinced by Bartsiokas’ hypothesis regarding the fused leg bone from tomb 1, and his identification based on this that the leg bone is that of Philip II?
..... with the possible exception of Agesilaos who may still retain this view, expressed on August 6 as :-
“The leg in Tomb I cannot be from any medical condition; ankyliosis would not push the joint apart but fuse it in situ. This is the result of an injury, though I share your doubts about a spear wound, some solid measurements would help especially of the hole. “
This was in response to the hypothesis I put forward the same day that the fused leg bone was more likely to be the result of some congenital condition such as ankylosing spondylitis.
“When looking at the photos, I have some very serious doubts as to whether this injury is a “wound” at all. I find it hard to believe that the almost broken off leg – 80degrees, and twisted through 30 degrees – would not have been straightened and splinted at the time of injury, even if not treated by a doctor. Nor is it terribly credible that part of the weapon would be left ‘in situ’ for several years whilst the bone fused around it. Next, the round ‘hole’ that is present cannot have been inflicted by any sort of spearhead – invariably leaf shaped. It is a roundish hole which from the photos is a mere 10-15mm diameter – too small even for a javelin shaft. Conceivably, it could have been made by the tip of a sauroter, but then why did it not heal? .......With the caveat that I am not a doctor or medical expert, nor have I examined the skeleton of course, the male skeleton’s leg condition and bone fusion seems to me to be more consistent with ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory disease with genetic links and defined as :
Stiffening or fixation of a joint as the result of a disease process, with fibrous or bony union across the joint; fusion.
[G. ankylōsis, stiffening of a joint]

This could explain why the leg was not straightened, the disease being a gradual progression over time.”
I was recently watching a program in the BBC series “History Cold Case”, an archaeological program looking forensically at human remains to determine if it can be resolved who they might be and what happened to them. I recommend the series – it is quite fascinating, even if some of the evidence is a little ‘stretched’, as is the way of TV documentaries, to arrive at a conclusion.

This particular episode, number 2 from the second series made, I believe, in 2011, concerned the discovery in 2008 of mass graves in a disused church at York containing 113 close packed individual men who had evidently been buried naked – no buttons, buckles, fragments of cloth or other artifacts etc were found ‘in situ’. The bodies showed no signs of wounds or other injuries that might have killed them, and ultimately the team concluded that these men had been buried in 1644, and had died during the 1644 English civil war siege of York and were probably from Lord Fairfax’s parliamentary besieging army, and that they had died from a disease such as Dysentery, or even more likely, Typhus ( often called “camp fever” or “jail fever” or “ship fever” in the past, because it generally occurs in crowded unhygienic conditions. The mortality rate can be as high as 70% ).

Among the 113 were two who displayed ankylosing bone fusion. The first had all the bones in a hand fused, sometimes called congenital carpal coalition syndrome. The second was even more disabled, having a leg fused to 90 degrees at the knee joint, and also an arm fused to 90 degrees at the elbow. This certainly caught my attention, as being familiar from the Tomb 1 fused leg bone. The head of the investigative team, Professor Sue Black of the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification University of Dundee and one of the world’s leading forensic anthropologists, explained that this genetically related congenital condition or syndrome occurred from birth and was extremely rare, occurring in only 0.1% or less of the population, and it was extremely surprising to find two sufferers in such a small sample. She thought this must mean the two were related, but was unable to recover sufficient usable DNA to confirm this. She also explained this was a world first ( in 2011 before Bartsiokas et al’s study ). The ankylosed bones could not be explained by either injury trauma, or infectious disease.

What was very striking was that the ankylosed leg bone was not just similar to that recovered from tomb 1 in Vergina, but virtually identical, right down to the same hole in the knee ! See photos attached, stills from around 7 minutes in, which I captured and then re-formatted so as to post. ( A difficult and lengthy task for me! ) I apologise for the poor quality of these due to the process used.

I think that the fact that these two virtually identical fused legs exist demonstrates conclusively that the leg from Tomb 1 did not fuse as a result of a wound, but rather the same congenital ankylosing disease as the York victim. This is of course pretty much fatal to Bartsiokas et al’s theory that this is the leg of Philip II.

For those wishing to see the whole program, or others in the series, it can be found on YouTube here:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pufE25Q9r4Y

As an aside digression, it may be wondered what such disabled individuals, who could not be soldiers, were doing in the army. It should be remembered that until relatively recently, disabled and crippled individuals had to make their way in the world the same as everyone else, and such individuals would have been common among the general population. The two disabled men could thus have been camp servants or similar. For an analogy, think of Robert Louis Stevenson’s character Long John Silver, who although missing a leg below the knee, was able to get about relatively nimbly on a rolling ship whilst performing his function of cook on the good ship “Hispaniola”, with the aid of a ‘peg-leg’ and crutch. Both the man from York and the Tomb 1 man could have been similarly mobile despite their severe disabilities....
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BBC History Cold Case York 113 fused leg bone.JPG
BBC History Cold Case York 113 fused leg bone.JPG (36.97 KiB) Viewed 6205 times
BBC History Cold Case York 113Professors Black and Mallett with fused leg bone.JPG
BBC History Cold Case York 113Professors Black and Mallett with fused leg bone.JPG (37.19 KiB) Viewed 6205 times
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Re: ' The lameness of king Philip II .'

Post by agesilaos »

There are not many views of the fused knee but those at 33.24, 48.36 and 56.24, seem to show that the 'hole' does not go all the way through. The x-ray at 33.48 demonstrates that the joint is not 'sprung' as in the Tomb I case, indeed the Head archaeologist uses the lack of 'joint-space' as diagnostic of the condition being congenital; such is not the case with the Tomb I leg it has two formed distal ends separated by the ankylosis, I fear the expert would, like Bartsiokis, attribute this to trauma. This does not make the leg Philip's of course but the skeleton does seem to have been an early if not original occupant of the Tomb, given its position and tripartite separation with the bones remaining in good relative position in each part.

Those who watch the episode will also note that the knee was not a isolated pathology but but one fusion among many, again distinct from the isolated instance in Tomb I. If this is a final nail then the hammer has assuredly missed its mark :)

Glad to see you are de-hospitalised, hope things are sorted.
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Re: ' The lameness of king Philip II .'

Post by Xenophon »

Agesilaos wrote:
There are not many views of the fused knee but those at 33.24, 48.36 and 56.24, seem to show that the 'hole' does not go all the way through.
That is not correct ....the hole does indeed go all the way through. The hole at the front can be clearly seen at 56.21, and at 56.26 when the bone is being put away in plastic wrapping, the hole from the rear of the knee is clearly visible.
The x-ray at 33.48 demonstrates that the joint is not 'sprung' as in the Tomb I case, indeed the Head archaeologist uses the lack of 'joint-space' as diagnostic of the condition being congenital; such is not the case with the Tomb I leg it has two formed distal ends separated by the ankylosis, I fear the expert would, like Bartsiokis, attribute this to trauma.
Where ankylosis occurs, in the vast majority of cases it is congenital but occasionally can occur as a result of injury or diseases such as syphilis or tuberculosis. It is not usually possible to decide which from the actual bone, save in rare cases such as the York one, where you are correct that as Professor Black notes, the lack of ‘joint space’ means it must be congenital. In the Vergina tomb 1 case, it is not possible to ascertain the cause, as I pointed out in my post of Aug 9, as there is no evidence of trauma or injury ( or disease ), hence the cause in this incidence cannot be determined. Bartsiokas is going beyond the evidence and into the realm of wishful thinking to attribute the injury to a ‘wound’. I doubt very much if even such a leading expert as Professor Black could find anything that might be evidence of trauma.
Those who watch the episode will also note that the knee was not a isolated pathology but but one fusion among many, again distinct from the isolated instance in Tomb I. If this is a final nail then the hammer has assuredly missed its mark.
Hardly “one fusion among many”, though the individual concerned also had the misfortune to suffer from an ankylosed arm as well. Your ‘distinction’ is not really a distinction at all, and the fact of a single ankylosed limb does not rule out the cause being congenital, as in the majority of such cases.

Earlier on page 4, August 8, you posted a normal knee joint showing the smallness of the ‘joint gap’ in a normal straight leg. This is somewhat misleading, for when the knee is flexed the joint gap opens up considerably, and the ankylosed knee in question is flexed to 80 degrees ( see below).
“So a trained and experienced physical anthropologist says 28mm is ‘far greater than normal’ and you claim that it is ‘not much larger’ neither claim is referenced, so whom do we believe? “
As can be seen, a largish gap when flexed is quite normal.....

In my last post (above), I mentioned that a person with an ankylosed leg can get about with the aid of a ‘peg-leg’ ( nowadays termed a ‘prosthesis’). Below are a photo and a reconstruction from a 3-2 C BC Chinese tomb whose occupant also suffered an ankylosed knee. Remarkably, the tomb contained the man’s prosthesis/peg-leg and how it worked is shown in the reconstruction.

The photo rather significantly shows the occupants ankylosed knee. Two things to note are the hole right through the knee ( just like the Vergina and York examples) and the X-ray also shows the knee joint with a largish gap! Would Bartsiokas attribute the cause to a ‘wound’ in this instance ? The cause in this instance is indeterminate but since the chinese tomb occupant showed signs of Tuberculosis, perhaps disease is the likeliest possibility.
I really think three examples of an ankylosed knee, all with ‘holes’ in the knee, is quite sufficient to completely discredit Bartsiokas’ postulation of a ‘wound’.........
“Glad to see you are de-hospitalised, hope things are sorted.”
Thank you for your good wishes.
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Chinese ankylosed knee 3 to 2 C BC.JPG
Chinese ankylosed knee 3 to 2 C BC.JPG (45.38 KiB) Viewed 6122 times
Chinese ankylosed knee 3 to 2 C BC reconstruction showing use of prosthesis found in tomb.JPG
Chinese ankylosed knee 3 to 2 C BC reconstruction showing use of prosthesis found in tomb.JPG (34.95 KiB) Viewed 6122 times
bent knee showing normal flexion and how joint opens.JPG
bent knee showing normal flexion and how joint opens.JPG (35.22 KiB) Viewed 6122 times
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Re: ' The lameness of king Philip II .'

Post by amyntoros »

Xenophon wrote:
Where ankylosis occurs, in the vast majority of cases it is congenital but occasionally can occur as a result of injury or diseases such as syphilis or tuberculosis. It is not usually possible to decide which from the actual bone, save in rare cases such as the York one, where you are correct that as Professor Black notes, the lack of ‘joint space’ means it must be congenital. In the Vergina tomb 1 case, it is not possible to ascertain the cause, as I pointed out in my post of Aug 9, as there is no evidence of trauma or injury ( or disease ), hence the cause in this incidence cannot be determined. Bartsiokas is going beyond the evidence and into the realm of wishful thinking to attribute the injury to a ‘wound’. I doubt very much if even such a leading expert as Professor Black could find anything that might be evidence of trauma.
Forgive me for butting in, but it appears from the above that there isn't any evidence to absolutely rule out the ankylosis being caused by a wound. Or is there, and I've missed it? I don't find Bartsiokas' attributing the injury to a wound to necessarily be 'wishful thinking' given that the ancients were constantly at war during the time(s) of the tombs' inhabitants. As you have pointed out, there is no evidence of disease, so those viewing/examining the remains choose the most likely cause (in their opinions) and then follow this with their reasoning. May I suggest that a weapon may have struck the individual right in the knee joint where the trauma would not be apparent after the build up due to the ankylosis. A little far-fetched? Absolutely. But once in a while hoof beats do indicate a zebra. :)

Obviously I'm not convinced the cause of the ankylosis is a wound - just suggesting how it might be so. I've never been as concerned about the cause of the ankylosis as I am of the lack of discussion (not necessarily on Pothos) of how the man got into the tomb with that damaged leg if he didn't belong there in the first place.

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agesilaos
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Re: ' The lameness of king Philip II .'

Post by agesilaos »

No shot shows the hole going ‘all the way through’ – you can only say that there is a depression at the front and another at the back; however , the point is not crucial (nor even cruciate), it will just be the normal gap left by the absent soft tissue.

Where is your evidence that ‘Where ankylosis occurs, in the vast majority of cases it is congenital but occasionally can occur as a result of injury or diseases such as syphilis or tuberculosis’? Are you continuing to confuse the anylosis in these skeletons with ankylosing spondylitis? This condition does have a largely genetic causes but it is also defined by ‘signs of a bi-lateral sacroiliitis grade 2-4 or unilateral sacroiliitis grade 3 or 4 plus at least one criterion out of 3 (inflammatory back pain, limited lumbar spinal motion in sagittal and frontal planes and decreased chest expansion relative to normal) ‘ from ‘Ankolysing spondylitis, diagnosis and treatment’, chapter 3: Clinical aspects of Ankylosing Spondylits, by I E van der Horst-Bruinsma, MD, PhD.

The next assertion is equally bizarre, as I said above the earliest known case of syphilis is 79AD from Pompeii (diagnosable by skeletal changes, watch a few more ‘History Cold Cases’ they bang on about the Pox quite a lot in the ‘modern’ cases), so not only is syphilis irrelevant for fourth century BC remains it does present archaeologically, as does TB which was around, it is indicated in some neanderthaal skeletons but again it is a condition presenting skeletally, cf Roberts and Manchester, ‘The Archaeology of Diseases’, 2012.

In the case of Vergina one can eliminate the congenital (the bones are not co-joined from birth), and syphilis (the disease was unknown), spondylitis (no spinal damage) and probably TB, though it has not been clear that signs of this have been looked for. Trauma looks a pretty good bet and is hardly ‘wishful thinking’. I notice you are still reluctant expand on the things that would be ‘evidence of trauma’, for my part the displacement of the knee, which I realise you cannot see, is evidence enough. Nor is your speculation upon what your newly preferred expert witness might say, if she had ever seen the bones, really trump the opinion of an equally well qualified physical anthropologist who has actually seen them.

The point about the ‘far greater than normal’ separation, 28mm, is the 28mm, without a scale the pictures remain mute. I presume a man with Bartsiokis’ qualifications knows that there is a greater gap in flexion.

Well done for finding the Chinese example which he calls the closest parallel. You are mistaken by the largish gap, though; the top of the joint is the dark shadow above where the fibula joins the joint, which is the level of the symphyseal seal. I see no reason why this could not have been a trauma.

Amyntoros poses the more interesting question, upon which you have not ventured; how did this body get there? I actually agree that it is unlikely to be Philip’s, given the disability.
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Re: ' The lameness of king Philip II .'

Post by Xenophon »

Amyntoros wrote:
Forgive me for butting in, but it appears from the above that there isn't any evidence to absolutely rule out the ankylosis being caused by a wound. Or is there, and I've missed it?
Forum posts are an imperfect communications medium at the best of times, and I think you may have misread or misinterpreted what I wrote...” In the Vergina tomb 1 case, it is not possible to ascertain the cause, as I pointed out in my post of Aug 9, as there is no evidence of trauma or injury ( or disease ), hence the cause in this incidence cannot be determined.” I am suggesting the cause of the ankylosis cannot be determined with any certainty.....I did not rule out trauma.
I don't find Bartsiokas' attributing the injury to a wound to necessarily be 'wishful thinking' given that the ancients were constantly at war during the time(s) of the tombs' inhabitants. As you have pointed out, there is no evidence of disease, so those viewing/examining the remains choose the most likely cause (in their opinions) and then follow this with their reasoning. May I suggest that a weapon may have struck the individual right in the knee joint where the trauma would not be apparent after the build up due to the ankylosis. A little far-fetched? Absolutely. But once in a while hoof beats do indicate a zebra.
What I am saying is : “Bartsiokas is going beyond the evidence and into the realm of wishful thinking to definitely attribute the injury to a ‘wound’ ”. It is Bartsiokis’ conviction that the cause can ONLY be a wound. He states that the ‘hole’ (present in all ankylosis examples I can find – admittedly not a large number) – must be a wound, because he wishes/wants it to be so. This is because his methodology, as in previous cases by him, is flawed. He is quoted in several publications as saying : “"When I found the femur fused to the tibia at the knee joint, I suddenly remembered the leg injury of Philip, but I could not recall any details," Dr. Antonis Bartsiokas, the study's lead author and an associate professor at the Democritus University of Thrace, told Live Science. "I then ran to study the historical evidence ... I knew the bone must belong to Philip!"
And this conviction has been formed prior to any examination of the bones !!!! That is putting the cart very much before the horse, and hardly scientific, to arrive at a conviction before actually examining the evidence! Note also that there is a similar hole in the female’s leg bones ( see below). Was she too ‘wounded’ ? To decide that the hole in the man’s ankylosed leg must be from a wound, and that it MUST therefore be Philip II ( despite the fact that this postulation runs contrary to the literary and other evidence) is indeed ‘wishful thinking’.
I would recommend readers wishing to grasp the whole question of the identity of the occupants to read Miltiades Hatzopoulos paper summarising the controversy and the evidence of both camps over 30 years ; “The burial of the dead (at Vergina) or the unending controversy over the identity of the occupants of Tomb II” ( which obviously does not take into account Antikas et al’s recent lengthy study of the Tomb II bones concluding that the Tomb II remains are most likely to be those of Philip II or Bartsiokis’ paper regrding the Tomb I bones, and also Jolene McLeod’s thesis “UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY Understanding the Bones:The Human Skeletal Remains from Tombs I, II and III at Vergina” both available online. For those not wishing to study these papers, here is a short epitome of some of McLeod’s conclusions.
“Although features such as the Abduction of Persephone fresco in Tomb I seem to
indicate female burial, the existence of both the infant remains and the male skeleton have
forced some academics to construct creative hypotheses that make the evidence fit with a preconceived narrative, such as the infamous ‘tomb-robber’.”.........”
Rather than deriving a conclusion from the available facts
(the grave goods and the cremated bones) then determining a possible identity, opinions seem
to have developed the other way around. As a result, some scholars have constructed circular
arguments.”........
”The existence or absence of antemortem injuries on ancient skeletal remains should not be used as definitive proof for identity. Without knowing exactly what happened to a particular person while he or she was alive, it is impossible to corroborate proposed injury sites with the historical record, which is likely incomplete. Additionally, the physical effect on development and morphology that any supposed injuries might have had on the person must be understood.”......
“The evidence provided by the human remains from Tombs I, II, and III is far from certain and cannot be used as the basis for establishing the identity of the occupants of the tombs except in the most speculative way. Much more hazardous is the use of these
speculative identifications for further interpretation of the individual tombs or chambers or, even more, for establishing the identities of the individuals in adjacent tombs, and by this
extension, the entire Vergina site. Methodologically, much of what has been done is either a case of putting the cart before the horse or creating circular arguments. Furthermore, forced linkages between speculative identifications and the evidence of other tombs leads to a house of cards......”

“For the three Vergina tombs, although the ancient bones found within must be left unidentified, the impetus to determine the true identity of the six individuals from the Great Tumulus will continue........”


Both Hatzopoulos and McLeod point out that osteological evidence ( the bones) cannot alone positively identify the occupants, and in Tomb1 all there is, is incomplete disarticulated skeletons, a few bones only, and Bartsiokis did not even have access to all of these. As they also point out out, there has been far too much emphasis on the osteological evidence and its interpretation, which can never conclusively identify a person. If a student such as McLeod knows this, shouldn’t Bartsiokas?

In his book “Forensic Cremation Recovery and Analysis” Scott I. Fairgrieve at p181 also briefly considers historical examples, namely Philip II and Hitler and arrives at the same conclusion – that osteological analysis alone cannot provide positive identification.

Since, contra Bartsiokis, osteological evidence can never provide conclusive identification we can only have regard to circumstantial evidence ( i.e. indirect evidence) and as Hatzopoulos concludes, this is consistent with, and points very strongly if not conclusively to the male occupant of Tomb II being Philip II.
Obviously I'm not convinced the cause of the ankylosis is a wound - just suggesting how it might be so. I've never been as concerned about the cause of the ankylosis as I am of the lack of discussion (not necessarily on Pothos) of how the man got into the tomb with that damaged leg if he didn't belong there in the first place.
See below for a perspective drawing of the tomb as found. The robbers failed to get in by the tunnel visible, and ultimately broke in by removing roof slabs. The tomb was left open and gradually 'silted up'.
I would make several suggestions as to how he might possibly have got there:
1. He might be an original occupant as might the woman.( they are close to the bottom of the ‘silt’ which gradually accumulated over time, and was over a metre deep).
2. The ‘tomb robber’ hypothesis may be correct. Our skeleton, like the other robbers, was lowered in by rope. As the robbers were finishing ( and they did a thorough job of looting the contents), they might have been disturbed and fled, abandoning their comrade in the tomb, since he obviously couldn’t flee. He was perhaps left to his fate by the guards ( or whoever chased off the robbers). Later still his skeleton was disturbed by other ‘treasure hunters’ looking for valuable items, who might have removed his prosthesis, assuming he had one. ( The ‘silt’ shows the tomb was left open for a considerable time )
3. The skeletons could all have been ‘dumped’ into the open tomb over time after the robbery, re-using it, which is what the presence of five infants suggests.

According to Antikas: “Surprisingly, it emerged that Tomb I contained the remains of at least seven individuals: an adult male, a female, a child, four babies aged 8-10 lunar months and one fetus of 6.5 lunar months.This find automatically disproves every previous hypothesis of historians and archaeologists alike that Tomb I was intended for Philip II and his last wife," Antikas said. ( As others noted, Bartsiokis only had access to some of the bones, spread out as they were between several institutions.) In his conviction that the female is Kleopatra, and one foetus Europa, Bartsiokas ignores this ‘inconvenient truth’. Which of these is Europa, and who are the others, who obviously could not have had the same mother?

There are obviously other possibilities, but that’s enough to be getting on with !
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Xenophon
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Re: ' The lameness of king Philip II .'

Post by Xenophon »

Agesilaos wrote:
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..... as I said above the earliest known case of syphilis is 79AD from Pompeii (diagnosable by skeletal changes, watch a few more ‘History Cold Cases’ they bang on about the Pox quite a lot in the ‘modern’ cases), so not only is syphilis irrelevant for fourth century BC remains it does present archaeologically, as does TB which was around, it is indicated in some neanderthaal skeletons but again it is a condition presenting skeletally, cf Roberts and Manchester, ‘The Archaeology of Diseases’, 2012.
Sorry if that was a little misleading. I was simply quoting Amyntoros’ general examples from her earlier post as general examples, not specifically applicable to the Vergina find. I’m aware of the fascinating history of syphilis. Originally thought to have come back from the new world with Columbus/Spanish explorers, this was disproved when mediaeval examples were found ( inter alia in an English monk’s skeleton!) As you rightly say, we can now find cases in the Pompeii/Herculaneum excavations and remains, and the disease may go back earlier still of course. Some now think it was a new, more virulent strain that came back from America. If so, there is irony in the Europeans giving the natives small-pox, and getting a particularly virulent new strain of syphilis in return!
In the case of Vergina one can eliminate the congenital (the bones are not co-joined from birth), and syphilis (the disease was unknown), spondylitis (no spinal damage) and probably TB, though it has not been clear that signs of this have been looked for. Trauma looks a pretty good bet and is hardly ‘wishful thinking’. I notice you are still reluctant expand on the things that would be ‘evidence of trauma’, for my part the displacement of the knee, which I realise you cannot see, is evidence enough. Nor is your speculation upon what your newly preferred expert witness might say, if she had ever seen the bones, really trump the opinion of an equally well qualified physical anthropologist who has actually seen them.
Firstly, Bartsiokas is certainly not as well qualified in forensic paleo-anthropology as Professor Black , one of the world's leading authorities, but we need not go off on a red herring since she obviously has not examined the Vergina bones and no-one can speculate what her opinion might be if she had. ( In fact it would appear that Bartsiokas is not forensically qualified at all ).

I don’t think that the two bones are necessarily joined in every case of congenital origin, though with ankylosis being so rare it is hard to find examples. Nor are the disease you mention the only ones to cause ankylosis so disease can't be eliminated either. For that matter a 'wound' is not the only possible trauma cause (the most common is a fracture and subsequent infection, as I expect you are aware ). See my response to Amyntoros, it is the certainty that the ankylosis can ONLY be a wound, and that consequently the skeleton MUST be Philip II that is ‘wishful thinking’. Especially given the lack of evidence for a wound, such as a slicing cut mark or similar. I don’t believe other causes can be ruled out, and trauma might be a possibility – though as Amyntotoros suggested, wound trauma a pretty far-fetched one !

The point about the ‘far greater than normal’ separation, 28mm, is the 28mm, without a scale the pictures remain mute. I presume a man with Bartsiokis’ qualifications knows that there is a greater gap in flexion.
Why would he necessarily? As a paleo-anthropologist he is not likely to have come across any flexed articulated knee joints, which one associates with living people generally speaking.
Well done for finding the Chinese example which he calls the closest parallel. You are mistaken by the largish gap, though; the top of the joint is the dark shadow above where the fibula joins the joint, which is the level of the symphyseal seal. I see no reason why this could not have been a trauma.
Yes, as with the Vergina example, we have no actual evidence that allows a conclusion to be drawn regarding cause. But the fact that this man had TB is certainly suggestive.....
Amyntoros poses the more interesting question, upon which you have not ventured; how did this body get there? I actually agree that it is unlikely to be Philip’s, given the disability.
See my previous post....Interestingly, Xerotiris, who originally examined the bones from Tomb I, was of the view that the skeletal material was "secondary" i.e. not connected to the original occupant(s) and was deposited later.

One other aspect of Bartsiokas postulation I also think conclusively rules out the ankylosed male skeleton as being Philip II. It is well known that bone growth of any sort is a slow process, and the knee in question is fully ankylosed. Philip received his leg wound in the Autumn of 339 BC whilst returning from that Summer’s campaign, and he was assassinated in the Spring of 336 BC, a mere 2 years and some odd months later. Could the knee have become fully ankylosed in such a relatively short time? Because the condition is so rare, information is hard to come by, but I have scoured scores of medical reports and it seems the mean average time taken for knee ankylosis is 18-20 years to reach 70-90 degrees [ with a range from a minimum of 7 to 39 years].
The following table shows 9 patients and the degree of knee flexion together with the duration of their ankylosis condition, prior to receiving surgical relief. It can be seen that the degree of flexion is no more than 5-10 degrees ( compared to the Vergina example which had progressed much further to 80 degrees) and that it took 4-8 years to reach that relatively mild state of flexion. That alone would appear to rule out the Tomb 1 male as being Philip II.
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agesilaos
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Re: ' The lameness of king Philip II .'

Post by agesilaos »

“"When I found the femur fused to the tibia at the knee joint, I suddenly remembered the leg injury of Philip, but I could not recall any details," Dr. Antonis Bartsiokas, the study's lead author and an associate professor at the Democritus University of Thrace, told Live Science. "I then ran to study the historical evidence ... I knew the bone must belong to Philip!"
And this conviction has been formed prior to any examination of the bones !!!!
So what came first; the examination of the fused femur, or the conclusion? Seems your own conclusion is dependent upon putting the cart before the horse! :lol: LOL

Nor is anyone suggesting that ‘osteological evidence alone’ will provide an answer, even in the quote above Bartsiokis is combining it with ‘…the historical evidence…’ ; that you disagree with his conclusion that it is Philip is fine, I tend to agree, but there is no need to put so many eggs in your pudding, it is in danger of becoming an omelette!

Generally it is best to demand the same rigour from different sources, so to accept a verdict based on ‘circumstantial evidence’ but deny the osteological because it ‘proves’ nothing is simply crass; neither, alone or in combination can prove the identification of the occupants, though, clearly both can fuel speculation. I expect you will eschew any reference to the alleged damaged orbit of the Tomb II male in future, or does this osteological ‘evidence’ come under the class of ‘circumstantial’?

Your memory of the circumstances around Tomb I seems to have faded somewhat. What you call a ‘tunnel’ was, in fact damage done by the robbers once they had entered by a small hole in the central closing slab of the roof, they had attempted to gain access through the upper west wall, the one opposite the single figure (Kyana), but had been thwarted by a well fixed shelf and had smashed a hole ‘just big enough for a man to wriggle through’ Andronikos ‘Vergina; the Royal Tombs’, Athens, 1984, p.86.

This hole was not practicable for a man with the ankylosis found, nor would a robber, interred, rip his own body into three pieces which remained articulated, which also rules out a dumped body, unless the men who blocked the holes decided to tear a fleshed corpse apart. If the first robbing was down to Pyrrhos’ Gauls, which seems likely; professional grave robbers left pottery and iron goods, yet this tomb was completely striped and we know there was pottery as small sherds were found, and only sherds, the source pottery had been removed. The damage to the North wall was made to either discover treasure (Andronikos) or more likely to discover if there was a new chamber, when they found only dirt the other side of the wall they stopped digging. This was not carried out under fear of discovery and capture by notional guards.

The holes remained unrepaired while Pyrrhos was in charge at Aigai but were blocked when Antigonos came to power, prior to the construction of the great mound. During which time it would be simple to cast in the neonates, nor is this an unusual practice.

Of your posited solutions only the first is reasonable, therefore, the others are not just zebras but pink polka dot ones!

Why you continue to rubbish Bartsiokis’ qualifications amazes me and you are totally wrong. Professor Black is emphatically not a ‘forensic paleo-anthropolog[ist]’, she is a forensic anthropologist, which means her evidence is called in Court, she is not a ‘paleo’ anything, as can be seen from her research areas here http://cahid.dundee.ac.uk/staff/sue-black or her CV on Wiki. This contrasts with Barsiokis who is ‘Paleo’ in spades but not ‘forensic’ as his qualifications and publications amply demonstrate see,
http://he.duth.gr/faculty/staff_pp/bartsiokas_pp.shtml

He also teaches human anatomy so can be expected to understand about flexion, I think.

Yes a fracture would be a more normal trauma, but they show up in the osteological evidence and are not seen here, infection is also, allegedly, not present. Itself a puzzling observation.

Perhaps you could share the link to your table the findings in these papers point to a much more rapid process, see especially the table in the last

http://www.bjj.boneandjoint.org.uk/cont ... 3.full.pdf
http://jnm.snmjournals.org/content/26/2/125.full.pdf
http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/do ... 1&type=pdf

This is concerned with elbow joints but they are fully ankylosed before 7 months in three cases, and these are trauma patients, the other two are more concerned with the process and indicate that the growth begins at the periphery, which would not therefore force any joint apart.
When you think about, it free-choice is the only possible option.
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