Session Infectious Disease and Hygiene in the Neolithic and Bronze Age info
We are pleased to announce session #653 “Infectious Disease and Hygiene in the Neolithic and Bronze Age” taking place at the Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA), August 28-31, 2024, in Rome, Italy. The session aims to create a platform for discussing the interactions between humans and infectious disease during the Neolithic and Bronze Age from a biosocial perspective. To enhance our overall understanding of pathogen presence, diversity and evolution, as well as human responses to infectious disease during prehistory, we welcome contributions from diverse research fields, including paleopathology, bioarcheology, history and genomics. If you would like to participate with an oral presentation we kindly invite you to submit your abstract following the instructions on the conference website. Please note that the deadline for abstract submissions is February 8th. For more details on the session #653, please see the abstract below. Do not hesitate to contact us in case you have any questions. Best wishes, Maria Spyrou and Agnė Čivilytė
Understanding the interlinked histories of humans and infectious disease promises a more comprehensive view of our past. The investigation of infectious diseases in archaeological contexts has gained increasing interest given the numerous open questions with regard to the aetiological agents of past pandemics and the potential influence of human subsistence and sociocultural changes (such as the Neolithic and Bronze Age transitions) on population health. Throughout human history, a number of epidemics and pandemics have been historically recorded or are hypothesized to have occurred, however, a deep understanding of the influence of infectious disease on human societies prior to the availability of textual records is still lacking. In this session, we aim to use a multi-faceted approach that enhances our overall understanding of pathogen presence, diversity and evolution, as well as human responses to infectious disease during prehistory, with special focus on the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods. To create a platform for discussing the interactions between humans and pathogens from a biosocial perspective, we welcome contributions from researchers specialized in paleopathology, bioarcheology, history, and genomics. Specifically, this session will focus on:
- The identification of infectious diseases in the Neolithic and Bronze Age using a variety of methodological approaches;
- The determination of drivers of disease emergence and transmission, such as living circumstances, dietary habits, food preparation methods, waste disposal practices, etc.;
- The exploration of evidence of hygienic treatment and prevention of disease in prehistoric communities;
- The impact of infectious diseases on the demographic and social development of Neolithic and Bronze Age societies; and
- The characterization of long-term evolutionary history of pathogens and their association to modern-day diversity, especially for infectious diseases that continue to pose a threat to public health today.