The Archaeology of Disease
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The Archaeology of Disease shows how the latest scientific and archaeological techniques can be used to identify the common illnesses and injuries from which humans suffered in antiquity. Charlotte Roberts and Keith Manchester offer a vivid picture of ancient disease and trauma by combining the results of scientific research with information gathered from documents, other areas of archaeology, art, and ethnography. The book contains information on congenital, infectious, dental, joint, endocrine, and metabolic diseases. The authors provide a clinical context for specific ailments and accidents and consider the relevance of ancient demography, basic bone biology, funerary practices, and prehistoric medicine. This fully revised third edition has been updated to and encompasses rapidly developing research methods of in this fascinating field.
lesser extent are the other bones of the skeleton involved. Moreover, the joints may become eroded (erosive joint disease). The skull is infrequently involved but, when it is, the destruction is generally more severe than in venereal syphilis, particularly in the oral and nasal areas (Manchester, 1994). The usual result is a few irregular crater-like depressions of the skull surface. Occasionally the destructive element may be extensive. This may result in the condition of gangosa, in which the
spine, and the spinal ligaments, intervertebral discs and vertebral bodies are involved (although the spinal changes do not occur in children). The antero-superior vertebral area is destroyed in the area of the annulus fibrosus of the disc (Capasso, 1999). Unlike in tuberculosis, there is reactive new bone formation and no spinal collapse. Radiographically, a hemi-ring of greater density around the lower part of the destroyed area, due to an increase in size of individual trabeculae and their
regimes. Furthermore, the extent of sites (and hence estimates of the size of the population) are usually determined by the surface distribution of pottery through field walking; how representative is the distribution of the original settlements? Pottery can be moved by natural and human intervention, and can fragment with time, and when we consider the use of particular identified structures we must be careful not to attribute occupation by people to a structure used for storage or industry
female footbinding. This practice apparently began in China in the tenth century AD (Levy, 1967 in Mann et al., 1990) as an indication of high social status, beauty and femininity (walking on bound feet would lead to enlargement of the abdomen, a vertical groove in the back and accentuated buttocks). Although no archaeological examples of footbinding have been reported to date, it is worth noting that changes to the tarsals, metatarsals and phalanges are inevitable and may potentially be seen
pitting of the joint and deformation of the joint contour were recorded, along with the severity of lesions. There was little overall difference in agreement between beginners and experts, but there was disagreement as to whether or not the bony changes were present and their degree of severity. The presence of eburnation and new bone formation on the joint were the most agreed-on bone changes. Interestingly, all ten bones had osteoarthritis according to the authors’ criteria, but there were only