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The Global History of PaleopathologyPioneers and Prospects$
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Jane Buikstra and Charlotte Roberts

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195389807

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195389807.001.0001

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Herbert Upham Williams (1866–1938)

Herbert Upham Williams (1866–1938)

(p.202) 31 Herbert Upham Williams (1866–1938)
The Global History of Paleopathology

Della Collins Cook

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a biographical sketch of Herbert Upham Williams. This is followed by a discussion of his contributions to paleopathology. Williams was an exemplary academic physician who turned to paleopathology in his later years. The San Diego bibliography lists just twelve publications by Williams, but they make up in substance what they lack in number. In his influential 1966 essay, Saul Jarcho included Williams among the eleven founders of paleopathology in the United States, stressing his academic bent, his professionalism, and his extensive use of radiology and histology. Williams' early effort in medical history produced two papers read before the Johns Hopkins History Club (1909). The longer paper begins with an original, thoughtful discussion of Columbian disease introductions in the Old and New World. At the 1926 joint meetings of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) he presented a description, with histological and immunological analysis, of a Peruvian double mummy bundle from the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

Keywords:   paleopathology, history, biography, medical history, Columbian disease introductions, Peruvian mummy, Old World diseases

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