Peopling the Past, Video #13: Roselyn Campbell talks about Paleo-oncology

** Content Warning: This video contains images of skeletal human remains. A warning is included in the slide before the images are shown. Please read more about Peopling the Past’s approach to the study and display of human remains here **

Photo of Dr. Roselyn Campbell climbing out of an excavated tomb.
Dr. Roselyn Campbell

In the thirteenth instalment of the Peopling the Past video series, Dr. Roselyn Campbell discusses Paleo-oncology, the study of cancer in the ancient world. Dr. Campbell will discuss evidence for the presence, detection, and treatment of different cancers in the past, including examples from ancient Egypt.

Roselyn A. Campbell is a bioarchaeologist and anthropological archaeologist specializing in Egyptian archaeology.

She is currently a Research Associate in the Scholars Program at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, California. Her research interests include paleo-oncology, evidence for violence and trauma in human remains, health and disease in the past, construction of identities, and how human societies define, use, and sanction violence as a tool of power. She has excavated archaeological sites in Peru, Ethiopia, Spain, and the United States, and at various sites in Egypt, including the Valley of the Kings, Edfu, Asasif, and Deir el Bahri. She is currently the Lead Osteologist for the Asasif Project and the Polish Egyptian Mission at the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari. She is also a co-founder and Executive Director of the Paleo-oncology Research Organization, a non-profit organization dedicated to the study of cancers in the past.

Interested in learning more? Check out these relevant publications by Dr. Campbell:

Ragsdale, Bruce D., Roselyn A. Campbell, and Casey L. Kirkpatrick. 2018 “Neoplasm or not? General Principles of Morphologic Analysis of Dry Bone.” International Journal of Paleopathology 21:27-40.

Kirkpatrick, Casey L., Roselyn A. Campbell, and Kathryn J. Hunt. 2018 “Paleo-oncology: Taking stock and moving forward.” International Journal of Paleopathology 21:3-11.

Further Reading

Aufderheide, A.C., and C. Rodriguez-Martin. 1998. Neoplastic Conditions. In The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Paleopathology, edited by A.C. Aufderheide, C. Rodríguez-Martín, and O. Langsjoen, 371–392. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Binder, M., C. Roberts, N. Spencer, D. Antoine, and C. Cartwright. 2014. “On the Antiquity of Cancer: Evidence for Metastatic Carcinoma in a Young Man from Ancient Nubia (C. 1200bc).” PloS one 9(3): e90924.

Hunt, K.J., C. Roberts, and C. Kirkpatrick. 2018. “Taking stock: A systematic review of archaeological evidence of cancers in human and early hominin remains.” International Journal of Paleopathology 21: 12–25.

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