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Introduction: Achondroplasia is the most frequent form of short-limb dwarfism. Affected individuals exhibit short stature

caused by rhizomelic shortening of the limbs, characteristic facies with frontal bossing and mid-face hypoplasia, genu varum,

and trident hand.

Although the etiology of this disease was reported in 1994, evidence of this disease in ancient populations has been found in

populations of ancient Egypt (2500 BC) and it has been documented in ancient American populations.

Objective: To analyze the presence of individuals with achondroplasia in the Mayan state society of Mexico and Guatemala,

during the Classical (100-950 AC) and Post-Classical (950 - 1519 AC) periods; likewise, in the hierarchical-chieftain society

of Tumaco-la Tolita (300 BC – 600 AC) from the Colombia-Ecuador Pacific coast, and the Moche state society (100 - 600

AC) from the northern coast of Peru.

Materials and methods: Iconographic and clinical-morphological studies of some of the most important artistic representations

of individuals of short stature in these three cultures.

Conclusion: We present the hypothesis that the individuals with short stature were somehow associated with the political

and religious power elite..


Carlos A. Rodríguez, Universidad del Valle

Research Group on Archaeology and Pre-Hispanic Sociocultural Diversity -ARQUEODIVERSIDAD. Full Professor, Faculty of Integrated Arts, Director of the “Julio César Cubillos” Archaeological Museum, Universidad del Valle

Carolina Isaza, Universidad del Valle

Full Professor, Faculty of Health. Universidad del Valle

Harry Pachajoa, Universidad del Valle

Faculty of Health, Universidad del Valle. Head of the Department of Medical Basic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universidad Icesi. Cali, Colombia
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Received 2012-07-05
Accepted 2012-07-05
Published 2012-09-28