Major or minor, each adaptation to a continuously changing environment is potentially reected in our bodies. us, without studying humans themselves we could only partially reconstruct life in the past. Bones and teeth, as well as mummied remains, serve as the primary source of evidence for anthropological and palaeopathological analysis, while iconography and documentary evidence supplement the study of diseases in the past. e methods most frequently applied to the study of human remains are macroscopic (visual) observation, radiology and computed tomography.2 More sophisticated techniques are increasingly being employed, providing more accurate information, but also leading to higher costs and technical demands. e application of biomolecular techniques such as ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis3 has proven particularly useful for recognizing diseases that only aect so tissues, such as the Black
1 Larsen 1997; for the use of the term ‘bioarchaeology’ since its rst application during the 1970s, see Buikstra 2006, xvii-xx.