HLTB21H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Venetian Lagoon, Pertussis, Bone

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15 Oct 2013
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Sep 26, 2013- Lecture 4
Paleopathology
The study of ancient diseases and injuries
Hard tissue lesions: nature of bone change, what’s affected, extent, etc.
Skeletal distribution
Population incidence
Origins, causes and spread
Spatial and temporal patterns (evolution)
Includes animal diseases, mummies, coprolites and various lines of evidence
Sources of Information
Art (visual, pottery)
Written sources
Cemetery records: those in higher positions are buried in tombs
Oral tradition
Material culture
Faunal material: animal material which gives us indication of diet
Botanical remains:
Food residue: indication of diet and nutrition
Coprolites : preserved human species
Human remains (soft [mummies]/hard tissues)
Lazzaretto Vecchio, south of the Venetian Lagoon in Italy
15th and 16th centuries
World’s first “lazaret” in Italy
> disease quarantine colony
> (died of plague, leprosy)
Challenges
Trying to identify which parts belong to whom; very difficult to do that.
1. Lack of well-documented, clinically diagnosed skeletal samples to use as
controls against which unknown skeletal samples can be compared
2. Difficulty in finding skeletal abnormalities or patterns of abnormalities
that are unique to individual diseases
3. Others...?-> generalized bone response; on the bone, the disease look
similar
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“Crowd Diseases”
Started in parts of the old world
Acute infectious diseases, highly mortal
Once it came to a population where there was no immunity, there were a lot of
deaths
Rapid onset, short duration
Smallpox, measles, mumps, rubella, yellow fever, chickenpox, influenza, whooping
cough, typhus
Death or recovery (and immunity)
After agriculture and urbanization
Importantly: new domesticated animals, esp. cattle & pigs
Skeletal expression?
most diseases will not be preserved by archaeological records
Bony Responses
1. Formation
2. Destruction / Loss
Non-Specific Infections
Periostitis & Osteomyelitis (more chronic version of infection in bone)
Periostitis/Periotosis (extra plague grown on top of bone)
Osteomyelitis: hallow, spongy bone gets penetrated, and reflect chronic infection
Chronic Iron Deficiency
Porotic Hyperostosis,
Cribra Orbitalia
Persistant infections in life
Being anemic might be the body’s way to adapt to infectious disease; it
withholds iron
Developmental Defects of Enamel
enamel hypoplasia
Wilson bands
Growth and Development
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