Journal article

Disease as a Factor in the African Archaeological Record

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Publication Details

Author list: Pfeiffer S.

Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)

Publication year: 2020

Journal: African Archaeological Review

Journal name: African Archaeological Review

Volume number: 37

Issue number: 3

Start page: 487

End page: 490

Total number of pages: 4

ISSN: 0263-0338

eISSN: 1572-9842



It is clear from their natural histories that various kinds of diseases would have affected African
communities in the distant past. Climatic factors may have reduced the impact of plague-like epidemics across much of the continent. Because of the link between environment and disease vectors, the presence of a disease may have been a stimulus for some group movements in the African past. Evidence of the direct
effects of diseases on human populations is generally elusive. Paleopathologists can identify some endemic
diseases, but evidence from Africa is sparse. Paleogenomics research can also identify some (not all) endemic and epidemic disease vectors. Recent African aDNA discoveries of inherited resistance to endemic diseases suggest that future paleogenomic research may help us learn much more about the impact of diseases on the African past.


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Climate, Disease

Last updated on 2021-04-03 at 14:56