Abstract Format

Social Interaction and Diseases: Contributions of Paleopathology from an Interdisciplinary Perspective.

Coordination: Claudia Aranda, Leandro Luna.

All human societies interact in different ways with neighboring groups. In many cases, this interaction involved people with very different demographic, economic, mobility and social inequality patterns, which had a differential impact on the types, distribution and intensity of diseases suffered by their members. The interdisciplinary character of paleopathological research in the last decades involves the complementation of protocols developed by different specialists and contributes to the knowledge of that diversity in greater depth and precision. In this symposium, selected papers will be presented that address the problem of interaction and social change from a paleopathological perspective, focusing on the application of modern techniques in skeletal human remains and mummies by experts from different disciplines, aiming to achieve precise interpretations of health/disease patterns in antique human populations.

Paleoparasitology: From the Origin of Parasites to Epidemiologic Interpretations.

Coordination: Shênia Novo, Karl Reinhard

Paleoparasitological research focuses on parasites found in human remains and other animals recovered from archaeological and paleontological sites, or any other source in which they have been preserved. Different techniques can be applied for parasitic diagnosis in ancient material, such as optical microscopy, molecular biology and immunodiagnostic techniques. Multidisciplinary in essence, paleoparasitology also brings together contributions from social scientists, biologists, historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, pharmacists, and physicians among other professionals, seeking to elucidate the origin and evolution of parasitic infections and diseases since prehistoric times. This symposium will demonstrate how paleoparasitological studies can shed light on the evolution of infectious and parasitic diseases, their origins and host-parasite relationships, seeking to better understand the current scenario and outlining possible paths of spread of infectious and parasitic diseases and their hosts.

Daily Life between the Sea, Desert and Mountains: Osteobiographies of the Ancient Inhabitants of South America.

Coordination: Elsa Tomasto-Cagigao

Bioarchaeology generally seeks to understand major trends through the systematic study of populations represented in skeleton collections. However, the collections conservation not always allow us to make poblational studies. In this context, it is also possible to visualize history from the individual through “osteobiography,” a tool that allows us to reconstruct the lives of individuals and gives us a closer and more human vision of the past. It is not simply a matter of describing skeletons but of combining the historical with the individual using multidisciplinary analysis, contextualizing the individual in his time, space and people. This symposium seeks to investigate the impact of geography, diseases, diet, activities and risks of daily life in people who lived at different times in the past and in different places in South America.

Paleoparasitology, Paleogenetic and other Approaches to Study Health in the Past.

Coordination: Alena Iñiguez, Matthieu Le Bailly

Since the emergence of Paleoparasitology as a discipline that investigates parasites in archaeological or paleontological material, it has made important contributions in several aspects of the origin and evolution of parasites. It has mainly contributed to the discovery of new patterns of health in past populations. Similarly, paleogenetic studies of ancient DNA through molecular techniques allow greater understanding of different paleoepidemiological scenarios. Microscopic, molecular, chemical, and radiological analyses represent essential techniques for archaeological and bioanthropological interpretations. In this symposium, interdisciplinary presentations about the recent progress achieved with these approaches are encouraged.

Paleopathology: Is it Possible to Get Better Data?

Coordination: Sheila Mendonça de Souza, Ricardo Guichon

Analysis and interpretation of relevant data to discuss health in the past present challenges that cannot be surpassed based only on laboratorial analyses. It is not unusual for a diagnosis made based on paleopathological analyses to be questioned due to the absence of detailed contextual information, inadequate conditions of sampling and/or storing, and other issues related to fieldwork. In some cases, important information is lost because professionals were not trained for such specific observations, for not using the appropriate techniques or for the lack of adequate recording of data. Careful planning of bioarchaeological components in archaeological research, as well as the use of protocols for paleopathology in the field must be encouraged. This symposium will discuss the results and challenges of gathering samples and relevant information for paleopathology and its impact on projects that try to integrate bioarchaeological and archaeological goals in the field.

Paleopathology, Health and Nutrition.

Coordination: Guido Lombardi, Anton Samplonius

Paleopathology, the study of all evidences of disease in ancient human ? and animal ? remains, usually relies on hard tissues to assess health patterns among ancient peoples. Health, on the other hand, depends on multiple factors, among which nutrition plays a key role. The aim of this symposium is to bring together these aspects of bioarchaeology so as to gain a better understanding of how they interplayed in the variate landscapes and climates of the Americas, and the sociocultural changes that ancient societies endured over time.

Paleopathology in South American osteological collections: integrating different perspectives and methodological approaches

Coordination: Marcela Urízar Vergara, Maria Kolp-Godoy Allende

Biochemical analysis of skeletal organic materials have become a mainstream of paleopathological research, providing researchers with an increasing wealth of information, including genomic data, stables isotope profiles, and trace elements concentrations. Biocultural and ecological approaches in combinations with biomolecular, isotopic and osteological information have enabled us to address significant questions on health status and disease in relation to a particular biocultural environment; as well as, to reconstruct life histories, social identities, social differentiation and organization in past populations. This session welcomes interdisciplinary research that integrates multiple analytical techniques, encourages papers addressing methodological challenges, and promotes communication between scholars.