Paleopathology of Human Remains

Simona Minozzi, Gino Fornaciari

Abstract


Many diseases induce alterations in the human skeleton, leaving traces of their presence in ancient remains. Paleopathological examination of human remains not only allows the study of the history and evolution of the disease, but also the reconstruction of health conditions in the past populations.
This paper describes the most interesting diseases observed in skeletal samples from the Roman Imperial Age necropoles found in urban and suburban areas of Rome during archaeological excavations in the last decades.
The diseases observed were grouped into the following categories: articular diseases, traumas, infections, metabolic or nutritional diseases, congenital diseases and tumours, and some examples are reported for each group.
Although extensive epidemiological investigation in ancient skeletal records is impossible, the palaeopathological study allowed to highlight the spread of numerous illnesses, many of which can be related to the life and health conditions of the Roman population.


Key words: Roman Imperial Age - Paleopathology - Life and health conditions


Full Text:

PDF


Copyright (c) 2016 Medicina nei Secoli