Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version


Document Type



Skeletal BIology in the Great Plains: Migration, Warfare, Health, and Subsistence. Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994


One disease condition that is common to nearly all children is otitis media, also known as middle ear disease. Although most people speak of it as a middle ear "infection," other causes such as neoplasm (tumor) can result in manifestations and symptoms mimicking an infectious process. This paper presents findings related to osseous lesions in two Indian children, approximately three to five years of age, who died with otitis media and infracranial lesions. Through macroscopic and radiographic analysis, it is possible to show that one child probably suffered from tuberculosis and the other from histiocytosis X. From an epidemiological and historical perspective, these determinations in skeletons from the Plains contribute to improved understanding of the evolution of infectious and tumorous disease in North America.