Evaluation: Modern Disease Found in Ancient Bones The skeletons of two male teenagers, ages 17-20, were found in the ancient Albanian city of Butting and are anticipated to be from between the 10th and 13th centuries. The bones were discovered by researchers from Michigan State University who took part in an international team of archaeologists that were excavating the site in Butting .
The two male skeletons seem to have lesions covering their vertebrae that are predicted to be from a disease called brucellosis This disease is typically obtained from eating unappreciated dairy and is primarily an animal disease passed o humans from the eating of raw sheep and goat cheeses that originated from infected animals. The disease usually results in flu like symptoms such as fever, weakness, and weight loss, however it can also result in bone damage, as was the result in this case since it is the only symptom possible to see in skeletons.
The damage in the bones was originally mistaken to be due to tuberculosis however upon further DNA analysis the results came back negative for tuberculosis. Scientists therefore decided to perform a test for brucellosis, which was not originally considered because it was believed to be a modern day disease. This new test proved that the true cause of the bone damage in these skeletons was indeed brucellosis. This discovery proved that brucellosis was not only a modern day disease but was actually present in ancient times as well.
Since these tests are regularly used to test for tuberculosis and brucellosis there does seem to be evidence mentioned supporting the brucellosis diagnosis. However no evidence seemed to be mention that related to the actual age of the bones. It was stated that the bones were from the 10th to 13th century however nothing was ever mentioned that proved this s when they were from. Since a large portion of what makes this discovery important is that a modern disease was found in bones from so long ago evidence should have been included proving the age of the bones.
After the discovery of the bones the article stated “the latest forensic DNA methods” were being used to analyze the bones. Is this how the bones were dated? Or where they dated using artifacts found at the excavation site? Or by the use of prior knowledge? Luckily upon reading the American Journal of Physical Anthropology article, which was referenced in the popular article about where these findings were first published, this uncertainty was cleared up. The primary source article goes into detail about how the city of Butting was abandoned in the Middle Ages due to flooding.
Therefore these skeletons had to be in place there before this flooding occurred, which dates them back to the Middle Ages, between the 10th and 13th centuries. There is no absolute dating method that can be used to date these two skeletons because even though archaeologists know they had to have originated before the city was abandoned there is no way to know owe long before that flooding the skeletons had been present. Overall the author did a decent Job with relaying the information presented in the primary source document.
Although the primary source document did go into more detail about the process of the discovery, which is understandable considering it is a much longer document, the popular piece presented generally the same information and the same conclusion Tanat ten primary source document 01 I nee popular article stated that the bones were analyzed using the “latest forensic DNA methods” however it did not state what those methods were or how they were used to analyze the bones.
The primary source provided much more information on this topic stating that gross analysis, X-ray examination, chemical tests, and microscopic assessments were used on the bones to determine the “manifestation of disease in past individuals and societies” and that the tests have in the past been useful in “recognizing potential pathogens that cause skeletal pathologies”. Therefore, the primary source not only gave us more detail about what particular types of tests were performed on the bones but also what the scientists were attempting to discover through the use of Hess tests.
In the popular press article it is stated that scientists originally thought the disease affecting the bones was tuberculosis. But why if it was a completely different disease would people who worked professionally with disease think it was something it was not? This is not something that is explained in the popular press piece but is touched upon in the primary source document. The primary source document states that the techniques used to analyze bones, which were stated above, could have been limited by the conditions of the bones but also that different attaches, such as tuberculosis and brucellosis, can produce similar bone pathologies.
This corresponds with the information provided in the popular article because obviously since brucellosis was previously believed to be a modern disease the scientists were not going to think that is the disease that had infected the bones but that instead it was a very common disease that had affected many bones they had diagnosed in the past. The primary source document then went into detail explaining exactly how the tests worked on the bones and scientifically explained exactly what was happening when the tests were performed.
Overall the evidence presented in the primary source document was very convincing and that good, hard facts were presented as evidence to Justify both the age of the bones stated and the diagnosis of the disease the bones had received. It is very hard to argue that they could have reached the wrong diagnosis when in the primary source document it was stated exactly what tests were performed, what was chemically happening in those tests, and how the results of the tests prove that the disease affecting those bones was brucellosis.
There is no question that it was indeed brucellosis that caused those lesions in vertebrae of those skeletons because there is nothing that was left unexplained or unsupported in that primary source article. The popular source article is a little shakier. Although it did get the facts right in general nothing was really explained or supported it was merely stated. The popular piece basically just said skeletons were found from the 10th-13th century, the skeletons had lesions in their vertebrae, and scientists originally thought it was tuberculosis, but then they discovered it was actually brucellosis.
I guess for a brief informative piece that is dead in the newspaper, on a news site, etc. That is what most people want to read, they only want to know what happened in general. But when you really want to know the evidence behind the discovery, which would be meaningful considering this was an important discovery, the popular piece didn’t present the evidence to support the findings that evidence was only found in the primary source. This discovery is particularly important because it showed that something that was thought to be tremulously was actually another Lease.
I Nils could change ten Lagoons AT toner skeletons discovered in the past because brucellosis was thought to be a modern disease however the discovery proved that it actually dates back thousands of years ago so it is now something that can be expected to be seen in other skeletons discovered. The discovery is mostly meaningful to scientists and archaeologists because it can help them discover what pathogens cause specific skeletal pathologies and explain things that affected humans in the past however it is interesting for many people to realize that something we thought was brand new is actually thousands of years old.