Hence the research conducted to date has focused on rock shelters (Hale and Tindale 1930) or burial related research, including physical anthropology, palaeopathology
and palaeodiet (see Pate 1997, 2002, 2006; Pretty 1988) while in fact shell deposits are the most dominant site type throughout the region.
- the science that studies diseases in ancient human remains - benefits from these molecular techniques to identify specific varieties of ancient syphilis and generate information that is useful for the phylogenetic reconstruction of modern varieties.
Among the topics are changing paradigms in the understanding of the transition to agriculture, integrating stable isotope studies of diet with palaeopathology
to identify subsistence strategies and economy during the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in eastern Europe; changes in indigenous stature, body size, and body shape with agricultural intensification in North America; body size, skeletal biomechanics, mobility, and habitual activity from the Late Palaeolithic to the Mid-Dynastic Nile Valley; and new light on differences between hunter-gathers and farmers in southern Sweden.
As the outpour of literature has been constantly growing, the scope of research has been labelled social archaeology (Gilchrist 2004; Gowland and Knusel 2006) and bioarchaeology (Gowland 2006; Sofaer 2006a, 2006b; Halcrow and Tayles 2008), which could also jointly represent osteology, palaeopathology
and funerary archaeology.
Those interested in Pacific Island skeletal biology and palaeopathology
will find additional material on this topic here.
Nine contributions on anayltical approaches discuss the chemical and microbial degradation of bones and teeth, to what extent human skeletal assemblages can be used for population analysis, epidemiological approaches, computed tomography scanning and three-dimensional visualization of mummies and bog bodies, and histological palaeopathology
of human infectious disease, among other topics.
The strength of the second part of this book is perhaps attributable to its author's specialisation in the palaeopathology
of Australian Indigenes.