EPQ case studies (the facts and the ideas)
EPQ case studies
(the facts and the ideas)
Study of Leprosy
• The genome of British, Swedish & Danish skeletons with leprosy recently sequenced [case study]
• Provides insight into whether they were stigmatised/ buried in other sites
• Ability to compare genetic composition of past and present Mycobacterium leprae and evolution of pathogenic organisms
o Leprosy & tb associated today w poverty, poor diet compromised immune systems, urban living, high population density, poor access to healthcare & resistance to drugs. (stated as fact, no evidence)
• Risk factors of leprosy:
overcrowding/ high pop density
migration and travel
lack of education
lack of access to health care
resistance to drugs
• Leprosy identified by “characteristic bacterial-induced changes to the bones of the face, hands, feet and lower legs” in HR [qt]
• 3-5% get bone changes today
• Many HRS wont show any bone changes from leprosy
• Tip of the iceberg
• Biased sample bc few leprosy hospitals excavated in England SO if they weren’t diagnosed then we can’t know if they were stigmatised
• Limitation of understanding HR to purely their burial contexts on an individual basis
• No personal accounts of leprosy in early medieval times
• Leprosy seems to decline from 14th cent in England (current theory supported by skeletal evidence)
cross immunity theory supported by dates that the disease flourished
• exact origin of this mummy and painted wooden coffin unknown.
• style of decoration suggests area of Akhmim in Upper Egypt
center of worship for God Min (associated with Pan)
necropolises dating from the 6th dynasty (c. 2325–c. 2150 BCE) until the late Coptic period reveal the site’s antiquity
• first comes to light in the UK in 1888 - donated to Penrith Public Library by a Miss Wilson
• records in Penrith state that the mummy had previously been in the Boulaq Museum, the forerunner of today’s Cairo Museum.
• 1884 the French archaeologist Gaston Maspero, then Director of the Boulaq Museum, discovered an intact Ptolemaic cemetery in Akhmim
o contained > 6000 mummies.
o likely that this mummy may have come from his excavation of that cemetery.
This collection became the nucleus of the Egyptian Museum, which Maspero helped found in 1902.
Gaston an Egyptologist
Succeeding Auguste Mariette as director general of excavations and antiquities (1881–86) for the Egyptian government
• 1930 transferred to Darlington Library and Museum
• 1960 when the Oriental Museum first opened the public, it had an important Egyptian collection but no mummy
o loan was therefore arranged from Darlington which was later converted into a formal transfer in 1999.
• Since mummy arrived at the museum undergone a number of studies
o some good and some bad
o In 1965 the chest of the mummy was opened by the curator to gain access to the prosthetic arm for study and is now displayed by her side as it would cause more damage to try and put it back.
o In 1960 underwent X-ray tomography by Dr GT Holroyd at Dryburn Hospital;
o 1995 Richard Bevan carries out X-ray tomography and removes tissue with an endoscope as part of the Manchester International Mummy Database.
a method of producing a three-dimensional image of the internal structures of a solid object (such as the human body or the earth) by the observation and recording of the differences in the effects on the passage of waves of energy impinging on those structures — compare
An endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube that has a light source and camera at one end.
o July 2004 Katherine Clark, University of Bristol, takes small sample from right side of torso for analysis.
o 2011 she underwent a much less invasive examination when she was x-rayed by Dr Jonathan Elias in order to determine her sex as she was initially believed to be a male.
fills a gap in collection
used for teaching in primary & university
Ancent Egypt primary schol visit most popular
teach abt disability in Ancient Egypt
went on tour in Japan 2007
beforehand weak, small areas of cartonage reinforced w japanese paper
the material from which many Egyptian mummy masks and coffins were made, consisting of linen or papyrus held together with glue
sealed environmentally controlled case
absorbs jolts from visitors
laid on rollers
light in room kept low
no negative responses from visitors
way to introduce children to concept of death in neutral safe space
"Some museums have courted controversy in recent years by either covering their mummies or removing them from display altogether which has resulted in a negative backlash from their visitors. Here at the Oriental Museum we don't want to shy away from the display of human remains, ultimately we are a university museum with a remit to educate and stimulate discussion and debate."
name plaque water damaged
"several of the cultures represented in this museum have used human skeletal remains in the creation of important cultural artefacts and visitrs should be aware that a few of these are exhibited in the Tibetan and Ancient Egyptian displays."
"Our staff treat all human remains with dignity, care and respect."
"South Asian history has
no one beginning, no one chronology, no single plot or narrative. It is not a single history, but rather many histories with indefinite, contested origins and with countless separate trajectories that multiply as we learn more about the past."
body has to be recognisable for
to return for offerings & life force
mummification = technical AND spiritual
not naturally mummified in sand but artificially
despite her disability?
lived 250 BCE
xray -> hand removed in pre-mortem amputation
died in her 50s-60s
born without the hand
also hold a mummy of a 15 year old boy
only has a little plaque
elaborate diamond wrappings indicate Roman
face mask removed
cant find identity
Lucy fossil & Taung child
Taung child originally identified as
dismissed as an ape by most scientosts
Europe/Asia central theory
brain-meets-spinal-cord skull shape shows human like
bipedal bc position and size of pelvis
angles of knee joints
large knee caps
ankle shows signs of a convergent big toe
vertebrae show curvitures for upright positioning
how we knew she was a homonid
remains of food trapped in teeth tell abt diet
learned from mother
bones n wisdom teeth suggest adult but 12 yrs old
NON LINEAR EVOLUTION
AFRICA CENTRAL TO DEV OF HUMANS
40% of a skeleton
hundreds of fragments
identified as female bc species was sexually dimorphic
other fossils found
size suggests male dom'd society
replicas made by IHO (arizona state university?)
fossils cannot be dated directly, the deposits in which they are found sometimes contain volcanic flows and ashes, which can now be dated with the 40Ar/39Ar (Argon-Argon) dating technique
just less than 3.18 million years old.
no duplication of even the most modest of bone fragment
three-and-a-half feet tall, and weighed about 60 to 65 pounds
plan (500 words max. hopefully)
tells us abt human evolution
identified as human ancestor
how she was aged n dated
just under 3.18 mill
aDNA analysed to determine sex & rule out female-only infanticide
reburial vs preservation
UNESCO Aswan High Dam Salvage project
• Natural mummified bodies due to hot arid conditions
• Ability to analyse skin, hair & organs can provide insight into “body adornment, soft tissues pathology, diet and parasitology”
stable isotope analysis showed greater isotopic diversity in 2nd-3rd cent than 4th
supports theory of early policy of diverse recruitment versus recruiting from local population
The Black Death
research & analysis
Auschwitz, Pompeii & Herculaneum
Hepatitis B in mummy
Skeletons: Our Buried Bones’ exhibition
Enslaved African Burial Site New York
display & curation