Symposium on Paleopathology, Disability, and Care

The next Paleopathology Association European Meeting will be held in the city of Vilnius, capital of Lithuania. The central theme for the conference will be “Paleopathology and its impact on medicine and society” and will focus on the importance of both scientific achievements and public outreach.

Abstracts shall be submitted until March 31, 2020, and they will be peer-reviewed by the Scientific Committee. We also encourage to submit proposals for symposia and workshops which shall offer an opportunity to present and discuss research on a particular topic (half-day or less). Selected symposia and /or workshops will take place either in the main venue of the meeting or Faculty of Medicine (Vilnius University) if they include an educational component and hands-on teaching opportunity.

Symposium # 1 | Paleopathology, Disability and Care

Organizers: Ileana Micarelli, Department of Environmental Biology, Sapienza, University of Rome; Lorna Tilley, Australian National University; Mary Anne Tafuri, Department of Environmental Biology, Sapienza, University of Rome

The past decade has seen growing interest in the ways disability and care were experienced in the past. Although to date most work in this area has been undertaken by prehistorians, a 2019 symposium on disability and care in Medieval times demonstrated the richness of theory and data available from the classical and post-classical world. This dedicated session seeks to bring together researchers from all time periods and cultures to build on this beginning, expanding aims, methods and perspectives in the field. In past times, dealing with the consequences of disease or injury, often caused or exacerbated by environmental and/or social constraints, placed significant demands on individuals, their families and their communities. How can we identify the likely impacts of pathology? Who received care? Who provided care? How were short-term needs met and longer-term caregiving sustained? How were people with visible impairments treated? How successful was the care available, and what might differences in access to care (and type of care provided) suggest about contemporary norms and values? Addressing questions such as these will deepen our understanding of past disability and care, a goal now part of a new agenda in bioarchaeology.
We envisage integrated poster and podium presentations, and call for contributions which engage with and/or extend theory and methodology in this area of bioarchaeological research. Descriptive case studies of disability and care are welcome as these are integral to comprehending individual, ‘on the ground’ experience, but may be best suited to a poster format.

For more information about the next Paleopathology Association European Meeting and guidelines on how to submit an abstract, please visit here.

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