The First Anthropological Study of the Victims of World War I

D. Gaudio, A. Galassi, P. Poppa, C. Cattaneo


In Italy many hundreds of victims of both armies who fought WWI still attend to be recovered and, if possible, identified and given back to their relatives. This study has as its objective to carry out a correct recovery, anthropological analysis and possible identification of these soldiers. Our plan has been elaborated so that it may involve various experts of different disciplines (archeologists, historians, antropologists, but also genetists and entomologists). So far, in this research project, 35 recovered skeletons have been studied. Thus the biological profile was defined (sex, age, stature and ancestry) then pathologies as well as trauma. The first results show the presence of adult men but also of adolescents. The subjects show diseases of a degenerative type (arthrosis, reumatoide arthritis), as well as perimortal lesions linked to blunt trauma, explosions, or due bullet wounds.

  Key words: World War I - Forensic Anthropology - Identification - Trauma

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