Section Information for Spring 2017
What is the history of disease? How have illnesses co-evolved with people? What are the behavioral and cultural factors surrounding the origins and spread of disease? How can disease be accurately identified in ancient remains? In this class, student will explore the answers to these and many other questions through the multidisciplinary field of paleopathology: the study of disease in antiquity. The primary focus of paleopathology falls upon human remains, either skeletonized or mummified, and sometimes extend to ancient written or graphical sources, coprolites, and animal remains as well. From the level of ancient biomolecules to gross bone pathology, this class provides a 10,000 year-long, global survey on the fundamental biological causes, techniques of identification, and temporal/global patterns of phenomena such as: anemia, scurvy, rickets, growth disruption, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections (e.g., tuberculosis, leprosy, syphilis), various cancers, joint diseases, multiple forms of trauma, oral disease, and exotic forms of skeletal pathology. Accordingly, students also acquire the skills involving how to conduct a differential diagnosis. Students interested in any aspect of modern health, archaeology, physical anthropology, bioarcheology, or medicine will enjoy this course, as it provides the tools in which to reconstruct ancient pathology and contextualize disease in the modern world – which together point to the future directions of disease and treatment.
Provides an introduction to the field of paleopathology which involves identification of pathological conditions in human skeletal remains, and reconstruction of the natural history and co-evolution of disease with humans. Covers the differential diagnosis and history of infectious pathogens such as tuberculosis and syphilis, skeletal trauma, oral diseases, metabolic abnormalities neoplasms developmental defects joint disease and more.