Asian Journal of Paleopathology Vol.2, 21–26, 2018
Received: February 13, 2017
Accepted: March 20, 2018
DOI: 10.32247/ajp2018.2.3

Original Article
A case of a stone spear embedded in the second lumbar vertebral body ―Okinoharu Yayoi ruins, Amakusa, Japan―

Tetsuaki Wakebe, Kazunobu Saiki, Keiko Ogami-Takamura, Kazunori Tashiro, Yoshiatsu Naito, Toshiyuki Tsurumoto

 In the fourth excavation of the Okinoharu ruins in Itsuwa-machi, Amakusa, Kumamoto Prefecture in 1973, human bones of 11 people in the late and last Jomon period and 16 in the early Yayoi period were excavated. Naito and Tashiro previously reported a stone spear embedded in the 1/3 portion on the right side of the second lumbar vertebral body of a young adult Yayoi male (No. 8) (Naito (1973), Tashiro (1982), Naito (1988)). The age of this male was estimated to be about 20 years because of the lack of epiphyseal union of the sternal end of the clavicle. The spear (base width, 20 mm), from its tip to base, was almost horizontally embedded in the bone. The spear had entered from the right front at an angle of 80º to the sagittal plane. Since no signs of healing were observed at the site where the spear was embedded, he might have died soon after the injury. Based on the entrance site of the spear, we speculated that the spear had penetrated the liver and kidney and reached the lumbar vertebra, and he soon died of bleeding. In this case, the injury due to the sharp weapon might have been fatal. In this study, we measured the length of the spear and its entrance angle on CT images, and confirmed the organs penetrated by the spear as it entered the second lumbar vertebra.