Disease Stigma in the Archaeological Record: A Review of Current Research

Maryann Scott


Stigma has been and continues to be reality for many individuals affected by disease. For bioarchaeologists, the study of disease stigma in the past often is limited to the examination of mortuary treatment of individuals exhibiting skeletal evidence of disease. This paper examines some of the research dealing with the mortuary treatment of individuals showing characteristics of leprosy. While some studies present examples of differences in manner and place of burial, others suggest that affected individuals were treated no differently in death than those showing no skeletal evidence of disease.


Bioarchaeology, paleopathology, leprosy, mortuary treatment

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