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January 1979

Pre-Columbian Rhinoscleroma

Author Affiliations


Arch Dermatol. 1979;115(1):106-107. doi:10.1001/archderm.1979.04010010072029

To the Editor.—  The ceramic pathology of the pre-Columbian Americas is always a delight to the students of the history of medicine. The abundance of material and the skill of the artisans, especially of the ancient Andean cultures, contribute to this. The popularity of the exhibit of Dominique D. Verut1 at the recent 15th International Congress of Dermatology in Mexico shows the interest of the dermatologists.I recently acquired a small terracotta head, reportedly from the Mayan culture, 300 to 600 AD, in Guatemala (Figure). The deformity of the nose with its proliferative character and the appearance of the nares suggest the Hebra-type nose of rhinoscleroma.2,3 The pattern is deliberate, so that punitive mutilation of a captive or artifact can be ruled out. The nasal deformities of leishmaniasis in the pottery of the Andean cultures are ulcerative rather than proliferative.4 This holds even with Uta Macho. The

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