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October 31, 1966

...And Onset of Symptoms? 'Oh, 1,000 Years Ago Or So'

JAMA. 1966;198(5):44. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110180024011

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For a growing group of physicians, the history of disease is too critical a matter to be left to historians.

To fill the centuries-gap in their knowledge, "paleo-pathologists" have brought radiologic, histologic, and other techniques of clinical science into partnership with archeology.

More than four years ago, illness forced Donald R. Hagge, MD, a Detroit-area surgeon, to take up a hobby. It has become something closer to a career.

After taking a course in archeology, Dr. Hagge caught the appeal of paleo-pathology. His exhibit on "Disease in Pre-Columbian Man," has been seen at several recent meetings.

Diagnosis Challenge  The clinician offers photographs and x-rays of bones taken from "digs" around the country. He invites exhibit viewers to challenge the diagnosis he and co-workers have made as to the pathology of the samples.Most of the trauma, infections, tumors, congenital anomalies, and other disorders now recognized existed in North America's inhabitants