Re: fossil evidence of disease

Jim Foley (
19 Jun 1995 17:35:14 GMT

In article <3s2ac5$>,
Richard Spear <> wrote:

>Has anyone run across references to fossil evidence of disease in
>hominids/AHS? I've searched the literature and haven't come up with
>a thing.

There's a Homo erectus specimen, ER 1808 I think, where has some clearly
pathological problems with it's bones, hypothesized to have been caused
by overdosing on vitamin A(?), possible from eating livers. Forget
which popular book I read about this in, may have been "Origins
Reconsidered", by Leakey and Lewin.

The femur found at Trinil on Java by Dubois in 1892 or thereabouts has a
nasty pathological growth on it.

A number of other fossils have signs of other injuries and illnesses,
such as the Old Man of La Chapelle-aux-Saints, and one of the Shanidar
fossils (both of these are Neandertals).

Jim (Chris) Foley,
Assoc. Prof. of Omphalic Envy Research interest:
Department of Anthropology Primitive hominids
University of Ediacara (Australopithecus creationistii)