Animal Palaeopathology Working Group
The Animal Palaeopathology Working Group (APWG) was set up by Jessica Davies, Andy Hammon and Richard Thomas in 1999 to provide an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of theoretical and methodological issues relating to the study of animal health, disease and injury in the past. At the outset, three specific areas of concern were identified with the state of the discipline:
- Lack of integration of palaeopathological data with other forms of archaeological evidence;
- Inconsistent and inadequate recording practices, resulting in the treatment of palaeopathologies as "interesting specimens", with little concern for geographic and diachronic variation in prevalence;
- Limited understanding of the underlying biological processes of many different types of pathology.
Since the inception of the group in 1999, the APWG has arranged three informal meetings, participated in the 13th European Meeting of the Palaeopathology Association (2000) and organized five conference sessions. As part of an on-going commitment to disseminate knowledge concerning animal palaeopathology, the proceedings of each conference have been published:
Davies, J.J. et al. 2005. Diet and Health in Past Animal Populations: Current Research and Future Directions (Oxbow Books, Oxford);
Miklikova, Z. and Thomas, R. 2008: Current Research in Animal Palaeopathology: Proceedings of the Second Animal Palaeopathology Working Group Conference (Archaeopress, Oxford);
The proceedings of the 2007 conference at the Lithuanian Veterinary Academy, Kaunas, have been published in the journal Veterinarija ir Zootechnika, volumes 40-44.
Thomas, R. and Antikas, T. in press. Animals and Diseases in Past Human Societies: Proceedings of the Fourth ICAZ Animal Paleopathology Working Group Conference (Lockwood Press, Atlanta)
At the last conference, held in Stockholm, the APWG launched its new website: http://animalpalaeopathologywg.wordpress.com. The website features a searchable, indexed, bibliography of palaeopathology publications, details of past and future meetings, and information about current research.
The sixth meeting of the APWG is due to be held in Budapest, Hungary, in 2016, and is being organised by Dr. Erika Gál (Archaeological Institute, Research Centre for the Humanities, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary) and Dr. Laszlo Bartosiewicz (Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Stockholm University, Sweden).
Following the 2002 ICAZ International Conference, it was agreed that the APWG should have a formal committee to help organize future meetings and continue to promote the group's activities. The current members are as follows:
- Robin Bendrey (Department of Archaeology, University of Reading, Reading, UK)
- Linas Daugnora (Linas Daugnora (Bioarchaeological Laboratory, Institute of Baltic Sea Region History and Archaeology, Klaipeda University, Herkaus Manto str. 84, Lt-92294, Klaipeda, Lithuania)
- Ylva Telldahl (Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Lilla Frescativagen 7, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden).
- Fay Worley (Zooarchaeologist, English Heritage, Fort Cumberland, Fort Cumberland Road, Eastney, Portsmouth, PO4 9LD).
Dr. Laszlo Bartosiewicz (Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Stockholm University, Sweden) and Dr. Erika Gál (Archaeological Institute, Research Centre for the Humanities, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary) have been co-opted onto the committee in preparation of the 6th APWG conference in Budapest in 2016.
The APWG coordinator and official Liaison to ICAZ is Erika Gál (Archaeological Institute, Research Centre for the Humanities, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary, E-mail: gal.erika AT btk.mta.hu.
This information has been contributed by Richard M. Thomas and Erika Gál, APWG Liaison to ICAZ (last update: April 2016).