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April 10, 1996

The Archaeology of Disease

Author Affiliations

School of Medicine University of South Dakota Sioux Falls

JAMA. 1996;275(14):1131. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530380073036

In 1984 I reviewed the first edition of this book. It was a scholarly discussion focusing upon health problems and how they affected past populations. Emphasis was on the pathophysiology of disease and how it troubled people generally, with minimal reference to the individual. I concluded that the book was of greatest value to the person who desired an overview of the effects of disease upon people over extended intervals of past time, with interpretations of the mechanisms through which these processes operate.

The present book follows the format of the first edition, expanded and revised. It now has 243 pages in 10 chapters. An updated, improved bibliography occupies 27 pages. Seven chapters, which are similar to the 1983 edition, are devoted to various diseases from around the world, including congenital, dental, traumatic, joint (arthritic), infectious, metabolic, endocrine, and neoplastic diseases. Excellent photographs and illustrations and adequate tables accompany the