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CODE 106579
ACADEMIC YEAR 2024/2025
CREDITS
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR MED/08
LANGUAGE Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
  • GENOVA
SEMESTER 2° Semester
TEACHING MATERIALS AULAWEB

OVERVIEW

Paleopathology is a relatively recent science (structured at the beginning of the 19th century) and complex.

The complexity derives from the multidisciplinarity that is its main characteristic and therefore from the need to bring together different experiences and skills, many of which are an indispensable prerequisite on which to base the observations and analysis of the lesions.

In particular, they represent basic disciplines, Human Anatomy of the locomotor system, Physical Anthropology, General Pathology and Archeology (depositional and taphonomic aspects) which serve to contextualize the finds.

The contributions of specialist disciplines such as Pathological Anatomy, Parasitology, Microbiology and Diagnostic Imaging (RX and CT) are inserted on this basis.

However, the most fascinating aspects derive from the recent applications in paleopathological diagnostics of ancillary disciplines such as Genetics, Molecular Biology (FISH, PCR), Electron Microscopy, Analysis of microelements, modernly applied in medicine for the diagnosis of current diseases.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Recognize and distinguish on ancient human remains: a) elementary bone injuries, differentiating them from taphonomic alterations and modifications. b) signs of diseases; the most frequent and often connected with aging, diet and work activities and the rarer and more complex ones to be studied in depth at specialized centers c) traumatic injuries occurred in life, perimortem and post mortem, even after some time due to reuse or tampering with the deposition/burial.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

Correctly describe the observations made

1) Knowledge of normal and pathological anatomical terminology (the names of the elementary lesions)

2) Description of the lesions based on the site, extension, distribution, entity and type.

3) Correct formulation of the question and possible interpretative possibilities.

PREREQUISITES

Basic knowledge of Normal Human Anatomy.

Specific knowledge of normal human anatomy of the locomotor system

Knowledge of Physical Anthropology

Taphonomy knowledge

TEACHING METHODS

Attendance at the lessons is strongly encouraged given the important demonstration activity carried out for each lesion with multiple images documenting various evolutionary aspects and above all due to the continuous reference, through interactive dialogue with the students, regarding the anatomical, anthropological and taphonomic characteristics of the specimen in question.

This is the place to underline the importance of the course in not only theoretical but practical preparation which leads the student to develop observation, description and documentation skills of the observed lesions.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

Man and the Environment (adaptation to the natural or artificial environment)

a) Man / mountain pathology

b) Man pathology / hilly or plain countryside

c) Man / sea pathology

Man and play/work activity

a) Biomechanical stress

b) Enthesiopathies

c) Stress trauma

d) Chronic inflammation (periostitis)

e) Work injuries

Man and interpersonal relationships

a) Interpersonal violence

b) Blunt wounds

c) Weapon wounds

Man in growth and aging

a) Variants and anomalies

b) Malformations

c) Defects of early bone development

d) Aging (posteoporosis)

Man and disease

a) Degenerative arthropathies (osteoarthritis)

b) Inflammatory arthropathies (arthritis)

c) Infections and inflammations (osteitis and osteomyelitis)

d) Infectious diseases (syphilis, leprosy, tuberculosis)

e) Hematological diseases (anaemia, thalassemia)

f) Neoplastic diseases (primary and secondary bone tumors)

 

Conservation of human remains and speciments

 

The musealisation of human remains (bioethics of the exhibition of human remains)

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

Canci A., Minozzi S.. Archeologia dei resti umani. Dallo scavo al laboratorio. Carocci Editore. 2005

Grilletto R., Cardesi.E., Boano R., Fucheri E.. Il vaso di Pandora. Ananke, Torino. 2004.

Grmek M D.. Le malattie all’alba della civiltà occidentale. Il Mulino. 2011

Giuffra V., Fornaciari G.. Fondamenti di paleopatologia, Pisa: University Press. 2021

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

LESSONS

LESSONS START

First week of February

The lessons, modulated according to the Academic calendar, will take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays in the morning in the suitable and optimized timetable for coordination with the teaching hours relating to the other courses

Students who are unable to attend satisfactorily as required by law, are invited to contact the teacher to establish an alternative program that allows access to the exam.

Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

Procedures for carrying out the examination and methods of assessment

The test is structured in three moments:

1) Applicants are required to present a recent and relevant scientific article, of their choice, in English, relating to a palaeopathological investigation carried out on osteo-archaeological material. The presentation must be structured as a concise presentation in PowerPoint.

2) Applicants are required to present an observational survey on osteo-archaeological finds made available to them during the year, derived from excavation sites and presenting typical easily recognizable lesions and pathological changes. Also in this case it is a PowerPoint presentation accompanied by photographs of the lesion documentation from essential or specific bibliography.

3) During the aforementioned presentations, specific questions are formulated regarding the general topics covered by the study program and dealt with during the lessons.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

Exposure by projection in the classroom of two PowerPoint presentations (as explained in "examination mode") and direct questioning through interview.