A Cross Cultural Bioarchaeological Study of Infectious Diseases in Antiquity
The goal of this paper is to review how the cross-cultural bioarchaeological study of leprosy benefits our ability to understand its biological nature and the social factors surrounding it in the present. Through molecular analysis, one can better understand the nature of this disease in terms of their biology and our ability to stop their proliferation. Analyzing molecular, ethnohistoric, archaeological, and osteological evidence for leprosy in past human populations, whilst taking into account their historical and burial contexts, allows for a cross-cultural analysis of the disease. Knowing how past humans across time and space may have dealt with leprosy, can provide insight as to why this disease has prolonged its existence into the modern era. By further disseminating this wealth of knowledge, we can foster a discussion aimed at ending the stigmatization of infectious diseases and their total eradication.