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Cornell University    
  Nov 24, 2017
Courses of Study 2017-2018
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ANTHR 2245 - Health and Disease in the Ancient World

(crosslisted) ARKEO 2245  
Fall. 3 credits. Student option grading.

M. Velasco.

The history of humankind is also a history of health and disease; the rise of agricultural societies, ancient cities, and colonial empires had wide-ranging effects on diet and nutrition, the spread of infectious diseases, and occurrence of other health conditions. This history has also been shaped by complex interactions between environment, technology, and society. Using archaeological, environmental, textual, and skeletal evidence, we will survey major epidemiological transitions from the Paleolithic to the age of European conquest. We will also examine diverse cultural experiences of health, illness, and the body. How do medical practices from “pre-modern” socieites, such as the medieval Islamic world and the Inca Empire, challenge dominant narratives of scientific development? The implications of past health patterns for modern-day communities will also be explored.

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