The American School of Classical Studies at Athens
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Plagues and Pestilence in Thebes

April 27, 2017 19:00

ASCSA, Cotsen Hall, 9 Anapiron Polemou, 106 76 Athens


Presented by



Prof. Maria Liston

Dylan Rogers, 213-000-2400, ext. 209

Prof. Maria Liston, Department of Anthropology, University of Waterloo, Canada; Whitehead Professor, ASCSA, "Plagues and Pestilence in Thebes: Evidence from the Early-Middle Byzantine Cemetery at the Sanctuary of Ismenion Apollo."

Excavations in the Sanctuary of Ismenion Apollo in Thebes revealed a later cemetery of Early and Middle Byzantine burials. Analysis of these burials has generated new information about burial practices in the transition from late Antique to Christian Thebes. A pathological survey of the skeletons has found that a remarkably high percentage of individuals suffered from significant,  pathologies, including cancers, brucellosis, extensive trauma, and leprosy. The very high percentage of individuals with leprosy suggests there may have been a nearby leprosarium or hospital, and that this cemetery served to bury those who died of particularly debilitating or disfiguring diseases.