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Lecture | Studium Generale

In sickness and in health. New approaches to studying past disease and stress in the archaeological record

Wednesday 21 November 2018
The Future of Archaeology
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

From the early 20th century onwards, researchers have been studying archaeological skeletal remains to learn about diseases that plagued past societies. In the last decades, this type of research, termed palaeopathology, has focused on the macroscopic analysis of the bones and the identification of pathological lesions within the skeleton. While this is still an important facet of current osteological research, recently more and more biomolecular techniques are employed to study past disease. In this presentation, we will feature two of those new types of analysis. One case study will focus on the investigation stress levels through the analysis of cortisol in archaeological hair and the other one will discuss how past malaria can be studied in archaeological human bones.

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