Tag: palaeopathology

IX Curso de Paleopatología: Osteobiografia Infantil


Working your fingers to the bone

An interdisciplinary conference on identifying occupation from the skeleton

The aim of this interdisciplinary conference is to bring together researchers interested in disease, injury and other effects of occupations (in the broadest sense) on the human skeleton to improve the interpretation of these changes in archaeological and forensic contexts.

Why Occupational Health?

Identifying occupation, task division and activity-patterns from skeletal remains past populations and using this to assist forensic identification, has been an alluring prospect in bioarchaeology from its earliest inceptions. Some occupation identification can be made by pathognomonic changes, e.g. “phossy jaw” which was characteristic of those working with white phosphorous in the matchstick industry, however, the majority of skeletal changes cannot be ascribed to a single task or occupation, e.g. entheseal changes or cross-sectional geometry. Recent research has highlighted that the multifactorial aetiology of many skeletal changes previously used to identify activity-patterns cannot be applied simplistically.

Conference Content

This conference will build on recent advances in related fields to provide a direction for future research on using skeletal changes to identify occupations (and activity-patterns) based on what is currently known. Abstracts are invited on a diverse range of approaches including: palaeopathology, biomechanics, ethnography, modern medicine, forensic science, archaeology, socio-cultural.


The deadline for abstracts is the end of February and for early registration, the end of April.

More information will be available shortly.

“O que dizem os ossos exumados em Santa Clara-a-Velha” exhibition


Yesterday, dozens of people went to the inauguration of O que dizem os ossos exumados em Santa Clara-a-Velha at the visitor center of the monastery. This exhibition reveals material from an anthropological excavation that occurred in 1996/97 executed by an anthropological team from the Life Sciences Department (University of Coimbra).

The Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha establishes a stone perimeter around an idea of community that survived in the skeletons of Coimbra’s Poor Clares. The lesser facts, the smaller events, are sometimes reveled by the bones o the women who lived and died at the Monastery. Eugénia Cunha and Francisco Curate attempted to restore those posthumous memories: a genuflected prayer, a moment of a grief, or an act of hygiene. An entire community. The exhibition can be visited until the 18th of September (2016).

Below you can interact with a 3D model of one of the many crania that can be seen in the exhibition:

Also, the media coverage: