The Archaeology of Disease

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9780801473883: 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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About the Author:

Charlotte Roberts is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Durham. She is a biological anthropologist whose focus is on paleopathology. Keith Manchester was formerly a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Archaeological Sciences at the University of Bradford and a general medical practitioner in Bradford.


"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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