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Looking back, looking forward: Paleopathology in Andean South America

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Abstract

Over the past twenty years, the field of Andean paleopathology has advanced significantly thanks to a new generation of scholars who have been attracted to this region and whose innovative research has expanded our knowledge substantially. The papers in this special issue demonstrate how the field of Andean paleopathology has diversified and grown to become what is today a truly interdisciplinary enterprise involving archaeology, ethnohistory, biological anthropology, geochemistry, medical imaging, and genetics. These studies apply theoretical approaches to research questions that are increasingly innovative and nuanced as well as analytical methods that were in their infancy when I wrote my 1997 survey of the field.

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