The development of paleomicrobiology with new molecular techniques, for example metagenomics, is revolutionizing our knowledge of microbial evolution in human history. The study of infectious agents concomitantly active in the same biological environment makes it possible to obtain a picture of the complex interrelations among the different pathogens, and in perspective to understand the microecosystem of ancient times. This research address acts as a real bridge between different disciplines such as archaeology, biology and medicine, and the development of paleomicrobiology forces archaeology to broaden and update its methods. This paper addresses the archaeological issues related to the identification of cemeteries from epidemic catastrophes (typology of burials, stratigraphy, topography, paleodemography), and the issues related to the sampling of human remains for biomolecular analysis. Paleomicrobiological study developments are described with the example of the plague. For its powerful interdisciplinary features, the paleomicrobiological study of the Yersinia pestis is an extremely interesting field, in which paleomicrobiology, historical research and archeology are closely related, and that has important implications for the current dynamics of epidemiology.

Archeologia e microbiologia dei fenomeni epidemici: l'esempio dello Yersinia pestis

Antonio Fornaciari
Primo
2018

Abstract

The development of paleomicrobiology with new molecular techniques, for example metagenomics, is revolutionizing our knowledge of microbial evolution in human history. The study of infectious agents concomitantly active in the same biological environment makes it possible to obtain a picture of the complex interrelations among the different pathogens, and in perspective to understand the microecosystem of ancient times. This research address acts as a real bridge between different disciplines such as archaeology, biology and medicine, and the development of paleomicrobiology forces archaeology to broaden and update its methods. This paper addresses the archaeological issues related to the identification of cemeteries from epidemic catastrophes (typology of burials, stratigraphy, topography, paleodemography), and the issues related to the sampling of human remains for biomolecular analysis. Paleomicrobiological study developments are described with the example of the plague. For its powerful interdisciplinary features, the paleomicrobiological study of the Yersinia pestis is an extremely interesting field, in which paleomicrobiology, historical research and archeology are closely related, and that has important implications for the current dynamics of epidemiology.
Fornaciari, Antonio
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/936444
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