Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version

February 2008


In press, Reinhard KJ (n.d.) Parasite Pathoecology of Chacoan Great Houses: The Healthiest and Wormiest Ancestral Puebloans In, (Reed, Paul F. editor) Salmon Ruins: Chacoan Outlier and Thirteenth-Century Pueblo in the Middle San Juan Region. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City (manuscript accepted for 2008 publication).


Two fields of paleopathological investigation originated in the Southwest. Archaeoparasitology is the study ancient parasite infection (Reinhard 1990). It includes comparisons between time periods of single societies as well as the comparison of parasitism between different, contemporaneous cultures. For example, Fry (1980) compared Fremont and Anasazi parasitism. Fry (1984) compared Archaic hunter-gatherer parasitism and Ancestral Pueblo parasitism. All of these studies fall into the definition of Archaeoparasitology. Pathoecology is the reconstruction of the relationships between behavior, environment, and disease organisms in the development of ill-health (Martinson et al. 2003; Reinhard and Buikstra 2003, Reinhard et al. 2003, Santoro et al. 2003). This field developed from the need for fine-grained analysis of prehistoric ecological and behavioral conditions to assess the factors that affected disease.