27.02. – 01.03.2019

First Workshop on Ancient Rare Diseases

Paleopathology of genetic diseases affecting bones. Research and Awareness.

About the Conference

Call for Papers

The Department of Natural Sciences of the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin is pleased to announce the first Workshop on Rare Diseases, focussing on paleopathological record and data dissemination.

Rare Diseases: Today.

In Europe, a rare disease is defined as a pathological condition affecting less than 1/2000 people and most rare diseases are due to genetical disorders.
Their low frequency generates a lack of visibility, both in medical environments and in social media, which is ultimately responsible for the lack of support and resources.
As data on frequencies, epidemiology and aetiology of rare diseases are largely incomplete, we believe that understanding their history is a crucial step to take in order to increase knowledge and awareness about both the present and the past of rare diseases.

Rare Diseases: Past and Future.

Reports on rare diseases from archaeological contexts can be found in specialised literature, although a dedicated forum is still missing. The current situation heavily affects the visibility of the available data and, ultimately, they hardly reach the larger public.
This workshop aims at creating a platform for a more systematic approach to rare diseases, where single cases are collected, discussed and integrated in a broader overview.

The 1st W.A.R.D. workshop, main aims:

The workshop offers a common ground to outstanding researchers from universities, research institutes and museum where to:

  1. present and discuss the latest cases of rare diseases from the archaeological record;
  2. create a shared knowledge articulated in a network of expertise and specialised resources;
  3. put together the pieces that compose the history of rare diseases from the past to the present;
  4. create innovative solutions to dismiss the “cabinet of curiosity” approach common to most the old museum collections and make paleopathological cases of rare diseases accessible to the large public.

In Cooperation with

an initiative of the 
Natural Sciences Unit at the Head Office 
of the german archaeological Institute