Anthropology | Paleopathology
B602 | 27039 | Cook
Instructor Authorization is required.
This course deals with the identification and description of disease
in ancient populations. Analysis of human skeletal remains is
stressed, but we will also discuss comparative pathology,
paleodemography, mummified tissues, and analysis of visual and textual
representations of disease. B200, B301, and permission are required
for undergraduates registered in this course.
1. Each student will prepare a seminar presentation on a topic in
paleopathology, with demonstration of specimens and techniques where
this is appropriate, and a bibliography for distribution to class
members. I will provide you with models for your presentation during
the first three meetings. You should meet with me during the first
week of class to choose a topic and discuss how to go about finding
2. There are weekly written lab exercises weeks 2 through 12. These
stress practice in describing lesions and mastery of technical
vocabulary. Please post your lab exercises on the bulletin board. Read
your colleagues' essays and discuss writing issues among yourselves to
build your skills.
3. Everyone is expected to participate in discussion of assigned
readings. Prepare for class each week by developing a question or
comment to contribute to the seminar. Expect two article-length
readings each week. You should read the related sections of
Aufderheide and Rodriguez each week as well. Use this text as a
reference book as you read the assigned readings.
4. The focus of the course is a guided research project. This is due
in oral summary and written form at our last meeting. The written
version should conform to an appropriate journal style, for example
AJPA or IJOA. You will spend the second half of the course on your
research project. It may or may not relate to your seminar presentation.
Many of the research projects from previous semesters have resulted in
publications on meetings presentations. We will plan research
projects with this goal in mind. Both case studies and surveys of a
category of pathological change in one or more ancient groups are
Aufderheide and Rodriguez: Encyclopedia of Human Paleopathology
Ortner: Identification of Pathological Conditions in Human Skeletal