The book is divided into two parts:
- Part I provides an up-to-date account of some of the latest techniques for studying disease in ancient remains. These include imaging techniques, such as radiography and CT scanning, and biochemical and histological analyses. Recently these have assumed a greater importance in the identification and interpretation of remains, enhancing the more traditional methods based on careful visual inspection of lesions.
- Part II discusses the diagnosis and interpretation of particular classes of disease. The emphasis here is on what can be learnt by taking a biocultural or holistic approach to the study of disease frequencies at a population level.
Written by an international team of experts, this book provides the first truly integrated methodological and biocultural approach to human palaeopathology. This will be essential reading for all researchers and practitioners concerned with health and disease in past populations.
“The strengths of the book are numerous, but I am especially impressed with the clarity of presentation… I strongly recommend the book, and plan on using it in my classes as assigned reading to emphasize the very complex nature of diagnosis and its essential role of providing baseline information for interpreting health profiles of ancient populations.” THE QUARTERLY REVIEW OF BIOLOGY (Volume 83)
“It may be asked if we really need yet another book on paleopathology, especially because there are many acclaimed sources available. In this case, the answer must be a resounding ‘‘Yes!’’…Visually and textually, this volume is of exceptional value for guiding future generations of paleopathologists.” AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY (2008)