July 18, 1966

Human Palaeopathology

Author Affiliations



edited by Saul Jarcho, (Proceedings of a Symposium on Human Palaeopathology held in Washington, DC, Jan 14, 1965, under the auspices of the Subcommittee on Geographic Pathology, National Academy of Science—National Research Council), 182 pp, 29 illus, $7.50, New York and London: Yale University Press, 1966.

JAMA. 1966;197(3):227. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110030121054

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In the expanding search for knowledge, paleopathology offers an unusual challenge. The study of present-day diseases entails difficulty enough, even with the clinical and experimental techniques now available. How much more difficult is the study of disease that attacked persons long dead, persons who, when alive, moved in environments vastly different from our own! Nevertheless, with all the difficulty, the pathologic examination of archeological remains is fascinating.

The present volume, admirably edited, brings us a symposium which is truly cross-disciplinary. The participants and discussants— and the carefully prepared discussions are as valuable as the formal papers—cover a wide range of expertise. They include representatives of internal medicine, anthropology, anatomy, pathology, bacteriology, orthopedics, radiology, physiology, and history of medicine. Only through the cooperation of many separate disciplines can we achieve a picture of diseases-in-the-past.

Jarcho, after a fine historical survey of paleopathology in the United States, indicates the possibilities

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