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Advances in Human Palaeopathology

Ron Pinhasi (Editor), Simon Mays (Co-Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-470-03602-0
408 pages
February 2008
Advances in Human Palaeopathology (0470036028) cover image
This volume presents a truly integrated methodological and biocultural approach to the expanding discipline of human palaeopathology. The book provides researchers and practitioners with a comprehensive guide to the main methods and techniques that are currently available for studying diseases and related conditions from human skeletal remains. It also describes the ways in which these methods can be applied to the reconstruction of health and disease in the past.

The first part of the book deals with the survival of palaeopathological evidence and provides an up-to-date account of some of the latest techniques for studying disease in ancient remains. These include imaging techniques, such as radiography and CT scanning, and biochemical and histological analyses. Part two discusses the diagnosis and interpretation of particular classes of disease. The emphasis here is on what can be learnt by taking a biocultural or holistic approach to the study of disease frequencies at a population level.

  • Combines theoretical, methodological and diagnostic aspects with key biocultural approaches.

  • Includes overviews of the latest applicable techniques from molecular biology, biochemistry, histopathology and medical imaging.

  • Written by an international team of experts.

This book is an invaluable resource for biological anthropologists and archaeologists who study health and disease in past populations. It is also of interest to medical researchers dealing with epidemiological, diagnostic and pathophysiological aspects of diseases, who need a perspective upon the ways in which particular diseases affected earlier generations.

Praise from the reviews:

“… This book offers an impressive amount of information for both students and more advanced researchers. Its value lies in the vast expertise the contributors have to offer, with all of them being experts with long-standing careers in their respective fields, as well as the geographical distribution of examples that are given to illustrate specific diseases… outstanding and it truly is an important resource for anyone interested in palaeopathology.” PALEOPATHOLOGY NEWSLETTER

“The strengths of the book are numerous, but I am especially impressed with the clarity of presentation… I strongly recommend the book, and plan on using it in my classes as assigned reading to emphasize the very complex nature of diagnosis and its essential role of providing baseline information for interpreting health profiles of ancient populations.” THE QUARTERLY REVIEW OF BIOLOGY

“It may be asked if we really need yet another book on paleopathology, especially because there are many acclaimed sources available. In this case, the answer must be a resounding ‘‘Yes!’’…Visually and textually, this volume is of exceptional value for guiding future generations of paleopathologists.” AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY

"Pinhasi and Mays have produced an excellent, balanced compilation that reflects what is currently happening in paleopathology research and that nicely addresses paleopathology as both discipline and tool, highlighting technical advanced and schooling us on how disease manifests in the human skeleton.  This is valuable resource that students and professionals interested in human paloepathology should consider adding to their libraries." AMERICAN JOURNAL OF HUMAN BIOLOGY

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Preface (Simon Mays and Ron Pinhasi).

Contributors.

Part 1: Analytical Approaches in Palaeopathology.

1. The Chemical and Microbial Degradation of Bones and Teeth (Gordon Turner-Walker).

2. How Representative Are Human Skeletal Assemblages for Population Analysis? (Ron Pinhasi and Chryssi Bourbou).

3. Epidemiological Approaches in Palaeopathology (Ron Pinhasi and Katy Turner).

4. Macroscopic Analysis and Data Collection in Palaeopathology (Anne L. Grauer).

5. Radiography and Allied Techniques in the Palaeopathology of Skeletal Remains (Simon Mays).

6. Computed Tomography Scanning and Three-Dimensional Visualization of Mummies and Bog Bodies (Niels Lynnerup).

7. Histological Studies on Ancient Bone (Gordon Turner-Walker and Simon Mays).

8. Molecular Palaeopathology of Human Infectious Disease (Helen D. Donoghue).

9. Databases (William White).

Part 2: Diagnosis and Interpretation of Disease in Human Remains.

10. Differential Diagnosis of Skeletal Lesions in Infectious Disease (Donald J. Ortner).

11. Metabolic Bone Disease (Simon Mays).

12. Tumours and Tumour-like Processes (Don Brothwell).

13. Advances in the Palaeopathology of Teeth and Jaws (Alan Ogden).

14. Trauma (Pia Bennike).

15. Congenital Anomalies (Ethne Barnes).

16. Growth in Archaeological Populations (Ron Pinhasi).

Index.

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Ron Pinhasi received his PhD from the University of Cambridge, England in 2003. He spent two years in a Lise Meitner postdoctoral position at the Natural History museum, Vienna, examining the health status of early medieval Austrian populations. He is currently a lecturer in Archaeology, University College Cork, Ireland. His research focuses on growth and development in past populations, the origin and spread of leprosy in Eurasia, and the origins and spread of farming in the Near East. he carries out fieldwork in Israel and directs prehistoric excavations in Armenia. Key publications include 'Morbidity, rickets, and long bone growth in post-medieval Britain - a cross-population analysis' (with Shaw, White and Ogden), Annals of Human biology, 2006; 'A cross-population analysis of the growth of long bones and the os coxae of three early medieval Austrian populations' (with Teschler-Nicola, Knaus and Shaw), American Journal of Human biology, 2005; 'Tracing the origin and spread of agriculture in Europe' (with Fort and Ammerman), PLoS Biology, 2005; and 'A regional biological approach to the spread of farming in Europe: Anatolia, the Levant, south-eastern Europe, and the Mediterranean' (with Pluciennik), Current Anthropology, 2004. He is a member of the European Archaeological Association, and the Paleopathology Association.

Simon Mays received his PhD from the University of Southampton, England, in 1987. He is currently Human Skeletal Biologist for English Heritage and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Southampton. His research encompasses most areas of human osteoarchaeology. Key publications include: the Archaeology of Human Bones (Routledge, 1998); Human Osteology in Archaeology and Forensic Science (Greenwich Medical Media, 2000, co-edited with M.Cox); 'Palaeopathological and bimolecular study of tuberculosis in a mediaeval skeletal collection from England (with Taylor, Legge, Shaw & Turner-Walker), American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 2001; Skeletal manifestations of rickets in infants and young children in an historic population from England' (with Brickley and Ives), American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 2006. He is a member of the managing committee of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology (BABAO), of the Human Remains Advisory Panel of the UK Governmental Department of Culture, Media and Sport, and is Secretary of the Advisory Panel on the Archaeology of Christian Burials in England.

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"Overall this is an informative, timely, and extensive book on the recent Advances in Human Paleopathology and as such it should be added to one's repertoire of books to rely upon for explanations of how we arrived at our pres­ent state today and where our discipline can and should go in the future." (PaleoAnthropology, 2010)

"An excellent and detailed account of recent developments in the field of human palaeopathology. … This book offers an impressive amount of information for both students and more advanced researchers." (Paleopathology Newsletter, December 2009)

"Pinhasi and Mays have produced an excellent, balanced compilation that reflects what is currently happening in paleopathology research and that nicely addresses paleopathology as both discipline and tool, highlighting technical advanced and schooling us on how disease manifests in the human skeleton. This is valuable resource that students and professionals interested in human paloepathology should consider adding to their libraries." (American Journal of Human Biology, March 2009)

"Visually and textually, this volume is of exceptional value for guiding future generations of paleopathologists." (American Journal of Physical Anthropology, January 2009)

"The strengths of the book are numerous … This important collection of 16 chapters provides state-of-the-art overviews of key elements of palaeopathology…. I strongly recommend the book" (The Quarterly Review of Biology, September 2008)

"Visually and textually, this volume is of exceptional value for guiding future generations of palaeopathologists." (American Journal of Physical Anthropology, September 2008)

"The volume nicely demonstrates the shift from the descriptive, diagnostic approach of old to population-oriented research…strongly recommend the book." (The Quarterly Review of Biology, September 2008)

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