Tb has been present in the human population since antiquity. Egyptian mummies from 2400 bc show definite pathological signs of tubercular decay. The term phthisis or consumption appears first in greek literature - homer 800 bc. 460 bc - hipppocrates identified phthisis" (pulmonary tb) as the most widespread and fatal disease. He warned his fellow colleagues to avoid visiting cases in the late stages of the disease. Tb was documented in egypt, india, and china as early as 5000,3300, and 2300 years ago respectively. Typical skeletal abnormalities, including pott"s deformities were found in mummies. Suggestion that tuberculosis was limited to animals in prehistoric times until domestication of cattle and other animals. Tb epidemics throughout the world likely from changes in the host population and the environment rather from the introduction of foreign pathogens. (1546) fracastorius describes modern theory of contagion; believes phthisis is caused by invisible germs in the lungs.