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The Archaeology of Disease

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.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - The Study of Palaeopathology Introduction and definitions History of study Working from a clinical base Methods of study and tissue change Terminology Limitations of palaeopathological study Biocultural perspectives of disease frequency Movement of people Climate and weather Diet and economy Living environment Occupation Treatment Chapter 2 - Back to Basics Introduction Population growth through time Population growth, mortality and disease Palaeopathology and the question of numbers Palaeodemographic structure: age and sex Methods of analysis for age and sex estimation Sex estimation Age at death estimation Palaeodemography Stature and health Social status and health Ethnicity and health Epilogue Chapter 3 - Congenital Disease Introduction Causes of developmental defects Axial skeleton Anencephaly and microcephaly Cleft palate Hydrocephalus Abnormalities in cranial suture development Spina bifida Lumbarization and sacraclization Spondyolysis Appendicular skeleton Congenital dislocation of the hip Club foot Axial and appendicular skeleton Achondroplasia Osteogenesis imperfecta Down's syndrome Chapter 4 - Dental Disease Introduction Dental caries Dental abscess Calculus (calcified plaque) Periodontal disease and ante-mortem tooth loss Enamel hypoplasia Dental problems and associated diseases Dental attrition Culturally induced dental alteration Methods of recording dental disease Chapter 5 - Trauma Introduction Types and causes of fractures Healing of fractures Fracture complications Limitations of trauma study Fractures: living population studies Post-cranial fractures: past population studies Interpersonal aggression and traumatic lesions Decapitation and scalping 'Domestic' violence: infanticide, child abuse, defleshing and cannibalism Trauma and cause of death Dislocation Osteochondritis dissecans Treatment of trauma Amputation Trepanation Treatment of fractures Chapter 6 - Joint Disease Introduction Joint anatomy and physiology Joint disease: pathological process Nenromechmical joint disease: osteoarthritis Osteoarthritis: skeletal involvement Spinal joint disease Activity, osteoarthritis and markers of 'occupation' Inflammatory joint disease: septic arthritis Immune joint disease Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) Psoriatic arthritis (PA) Ankylosing spondylitis(SA) Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) Metabolic joint disease: gouty arthritis Chapter 7 - Infectious Disease Introduction Non-specific infections Osteomyelitis Periostitis Sinusitis Middle-ear and mastoid infection Endocranial changes Soft-tissue infection Specific infections Tuberculosis Leprosy Treponemal disease Brucellosis and the mycoses Parasitic infection Infectious disease in palaeopathology and biomolecular analysis Chapter 8 - Metabolic and Endocrine Disease Introduction Metabolic disease Diet and its relationship to disease Anaemia Vitamin C and D deficiencies Harris lines of arrested growth Osteoporosis Endocrine disease Paget's disease Chapter 9 - Neoplastic Disease Introduction Benign neoplasms Malignant neoplasms Secondary cancer Chapter10 - Conclusions: The Next Ten Years Introduction The past (since 1995) The biocultural/bioarchaeological population approach to palaeopathology Diagnosis and interpretation of disease The practitioners Ambitious projects on disease Standardization of palaeopathological data recording Research on specific diseases or themes Methodological advances The present and future Standardization of recording and reporting find access to palaeopathological data The practitioners, organizations and conferences, anl the media Palaeopathological studies Our resource, and analytical developments References Index


"As close to perfection as a book can come... The Archaeology of Disease is highly recommended to all who are interested in the history of diseases and their scientific investigation. The clear, precise, and elaborate description and interpretation of paleopathological observations the world over, from many different time periods, provide excellent insight into life and death hundreds to thousands of years ago."-Andreas G. Nerlich, JAMA, September 20, 2006 "Well structured, clearly written, and extremely accurate from both a historical and scientific point of view."-The Lancet (reviewing a previous edition) "A concise, informative, and very readable introduction to the field of paleopathology."-Journal of the History of Medicine (reviewing a previous edition) "Details how skeletal discoveries at archaeological sites reveal much about illnesses in earlier eras and how they were treated. Dead men do tell tales."-Anneli Rufus, East Bay, 25 January 2006 "This is a fabulous book. It is stocked full of useful data, is well organized, and devoid of most of the pseudoscience that plagues this area of study. It covers the entire field in a practical, no-nonsense style. If you are interested in ancient disease, then this is the "bible," the finest text to date."-Journal of the American Association of Forensic Dentists

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