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Cuicuilco. Revista de ciencias antropológicas

versión On-line ISSN 2448-8488versión impresa ISSN 2448-9018


MUNOZ REYES, Feliana  y  MARQUEZ MORFIN, Lourdes. Paleopathological study of treponematoses in Mexico: a review. Cuicuilco. Rev. cienc. antropol. [online]. 2021, vol.28, n.81, pp.267-288.  Epub 04-Abr-2022. ISSN 2448-8488.

Numerous cases of treponematosis are documented in skeletal series around the world and there is indisputable evidence of its presence at archaeological sites in Mexico. However, most lesions caused by treponematosis are nonspecific, making their diagnosis difficult. With a view to contributing to research related to its origin and global distribution, 11 publications of skeletal series from pre-Hispanic and Colonial times in Mexico (which confirm treponematosis lesions), were evaluated to estimate the reliability of the diagnosis. The methodology was based on the analysis of historical, clinical and paleopathological characteristics to identify systems for the description and classification of lesions, using discriminating osteopathological criteria based on Harper’s proposal. The analysis confirms the presence of treponematosis in Mexico prior to 1493 in non-venereal variants and of syphilis in later times. Likewise, it demonstrates the use of nonspecific indicators, non-standardized terminology for the description of lesions, and the absence of a methodological description, thereby making interpretation and comparison between skeletal series difficult.

Palabras llave : Treponematosis; syphilis; Mexico; paleopathology; bioarchaeology.

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