The Routledge Handbook of Paleopathology

The Routledge Handbook of Paleopathology


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The Routledge Handbook of Paleopathology provides readers with an overview of the study of ancient disease. The volume begins by exploring current methods and techniques employed by paleopathologists as means to highlight the range of data that can be generated, the types of questions that can be methodologically addressed, our current limitations, and goals for the future. Building on these foundations, the volume introduces a range of diseases and conditions that have been noted in the fossil, archaeological, and historical record, offering readers a foundational understanding of pathological conditions, along with their potential etiologies. Importantly, an evolutionary and highly contextualized assessment of diseases and conditions will be presented in order to demonstrate the need for adopting anthropological, biological, and clinical approaches when exploring the past and interpreting the modern world. The volume concludes with the contextualization of paleopathological research. Chapters highlight ways in which analyses of health and disease in skeletal and mummified remains reflect political and social constructs of the past and present. Health and disease are tackled within evolutionary perspectives across deep time and generationally, and the nuanced interplay between disease and behavior is explored. The volume will be indispensable for archaeologists, bioarchaeologists, and historians, and those in medical fields, as it reflects current scholarship within paleopathology and the field’s impact on our understanding of health and disease in the past, the present, and implications for our future.



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London, UK


bioarchaeology, fossil records, paleopathology


Anthropology | Archaeological Anthropology | Biological and Physical Anthropology

The Routledge Handbook of Paleopathology