Bioarchaeology of Tuberculosis: A Global View on a Reemerging Disease

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Tuberculosis has plagued humans and animals for thousands of years. Though apparently in decline with the advent of effective chemotherapy and improved living conditions, sanitation, and diet during the first half of the 20th century, TB has reawakened in both developed and developing countries, particularly among susceptible populations with immunodeficiency disorders. These authors offer a detailed study of the history of this persistent and important infectious disease, covering its etiology, epidemiology, and pathogenesis. Beginning with a discussion of the epidemiology, clinical signs and symptoms of tuberculosis, and skeletal changes associated with it, Roberts and Buikstra examine evidence for the disease through time in both human and nonhuman populations. They devote particular attention to the paleopathological evidence of tuberculosis throughout human history found in both Old and New World archaeological sites. With a review of the hard evidence of tuberculosis from the archaeological record (skeletons showing evidence of the disease), they focus on how and why the disease developed in antiquity, its evolutionary routes, and how past populations treated it. The authors augment clinical data with evidence from a variety of sources including art and documentary materials. A concluding chapter addresses the current reemergent status of the disease and its future prospects. The authors reveal that tuberculosis has repeatedly increased over time as societies have become more complex socially, economically, and politically. Their detailed presentation of the clinical data on tuberculosis and its many causative factors brings together information from a wealth of sources worldwide and mounts an argument rich in paleoepidemiological and historical data that challenges accepted dogma about the conquest of TB by modern technology. Their account will be of interest to anthropologists, archaeologists, biologists, and sociologi

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813032696
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida
  • Publication date: 5/26/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Charlotte A. Roberts is a professor of archaeology at the University of Durham. She is coauthor of The Archaeology of Disease and coeditor of Burial Archaeology: Current Research, Methods, and Development and of The Past and Present of Leprosy. Jane E. Buikstra is a professor of bioarchaeology and the director of the Center for Bioarchaeological Research at Arizona State University. She is a member of the National Academy of Science, coeditor of Bioarchaeology: The Contextual Study of Human Remains, and coauthor of Forensic Anthropology: Methods and Theories.
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Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
1 Reemerging Infectious Diseases: Tuberculosis Is One Of Many 1
2 Tuberculosis: A Disease of Poverty and More 44
3 Tuberculosis in the Old World: Absence of Evidence is Not Evidence of Absence 87
4 Tuberculosis in the New World: An Interpretative Challenge 187
5 To Cure Sometimes, to Relieve Often, to Comfort Always: The Written and Illustrative Evidence for Tuberculosis, Its Diagnosis, and Its Treatment 214
6 The White Plague Continues 262
Glossary 273
Bibliography 279
Index 333
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