Abstract The human skeletal remains from a leper cemetery in Chichester were examined for the presence of auditory ossicles. In total 471 temporal bones, belonging to 257 individuals, with an age ranging from birth to over 40 years, were analysed. A total of 136 ear bones were obtained from 89 individuals. In 43% of the incudes a notch on the short process was present. In 51 % of the ossicles erosive changes, probably due to chronic middle ear infection, could be seen. These changes were most markedly present in the incus. A possible link between otitis media and rhinomaxillary changes due to lepromatous leprosy is discussed.