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Durham University

Department of Archaeology


Publication details for Professor Charlotte Roberts

Rubini, M., Zaio, P. & Roberts, C.A. (2014). Tuberculosis and leprosy in Italy. New skeletal evidence. Homo: Journal of Comparative Human Biology 65(1): 13-32.

Author(s) from Durham


Tuberculosis (TB) and leprosy are infections caused by Mycobacteria. This paper documents new skeletal evidence in Italy from the Iron Age site of Corvaro (Central Italy; 5th century BCE) and the Roman site of Palombara (Central Italy; 4th–5th century CE), and briefly reviews the extant evidence for these infections in Italy. The skeletal evidence for TB in Italy is more ancient than for leprosy, and is more common. The oldest evidence for both mycobacterial diseases is in the North of Italy, but this could be by chance, even if biomolecular models suggest a land route from the East to central Europe, especially for leprosy.