Bioarchaeological research into the distribution and impact of a global disease – Daily News


Malaria is a disease of the highest antiquity.

Although currently absent from the Netherlands, written records indicate that the disease was endemic there from the 17th to the mid-20th century, mainly in coastal regions.

While it is likely that malaria was also present in medieval times, the lack of historical information from this period means that the disease is only rarely included in discussions of medieval health, leaving us with a incomplete understanding of the welfare of elders. companies.

This study aimed to fill this gap by adopting a multidisciplinary approach in which a total of 2100 medieval individuals from 26 archaeological sites in the Netherlands were subjected to skeletal analysis focusing on the cribra orbitalia, as this lesion can be considered indicative of anaemia, one of the main symptoms of malaria. In addition, several biomolecular methods have been applied to directly diagnose malaria in bone remains.

This conference will detail the history of malaria in the Netherlands and present the first results of this new bioarchaeological study. In doing so, it offers a profound historical perspective of this global disease which, in light of changing climatic conditions, is both essential and timely.

Participants can join in person or on Zoom.


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