PALAEOPATHOLOGY AND STRESS MARKERS
Paleopathologies: ancient diseases found as evidence in anthropological remains.
direct sources: bones, mummies, remains from pathological material and parasites…
indirect sources: artistic depictions, ancient literature…
Stress indicators: morphological alterations of bones and teeth in response to functional stresses, such as occupational and episodic stress.
A pathway between medicine, anthropology and archaeology: Palaeopathology is the study of ancient diseases and their evolution through time. This discipline uses investigation methods which are typical of pathological anatomy, anthropology and archaeology (Grilletto et al. 2004 p 27). "The peculiarity of the palaeopathological method lies in its versatility and complexity, which is derived from the heterogeneity of the study materials" (Capasso 2002 p 1).
We have also considered those non pathological expressions present in bone such as skeletal variations, discontinuous characters, birth markers and occupational markers. These non pathological aspects in synergy with the study of ancient diseases, contribute in outlining the general conditions and the development of a society and help us to understand it.