University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Biological Anthropology Seminar Series > Diagnosing diseases of childhood: a bioarchaeological and palaeopathological perspective

Diagnosing diseases of childhood: a bioarchaeological and palaeopathological perspective

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While often overlooked, children play an important role in reconstructing human behaviour in the past. Analysing sub-adult skeletal material (and considering the context in which they come from) can provide vital information about: growth rates, developmental trajectory, population/demographic transitions, the place of children in society and personhood, and also can shed light on the general ‘health’ or disease load of a given population.

Diagnosing disease in children is notoriously difficult, as many conditions do not show up in the skeleton, or have very similar skeletal manifestations. Furthermore, there is much mis-information about what observed changes actually mean, and precisely how far we can take our interpretations. This talk will explore these ideas, providing suggestions for how we should move forward; a number of relevant cases studies from post-medieval Chichester, England, will also be discussed.

This talk is part of the Biological Anthropology Seminar Series series.

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