Call for Papers: Special Issue on Current Trends in Studies of Ancient Diseases

Paleopathology has been an important part of anatomists’ researches, mainly focusing on the diseases affecting the human populations in history. By scientific studies carried out on the ancient samples, it can improve our understanding of the health and disease status of our ancestors. Nevertheless, it is also true that more academic experiences still have to accumulate for the accurate interpretation of bioanthropological results. More cases about ancient diseases must be reported from the skeletons or mummies discovered worldwide. Newly emerging techniques should be applied more actively to the related bioanthropological cases. And a review of the ethical aspects is also needed for successful research. It is thus the purpose of this special issue to consider the latest accomplishments of paleopathological and bioanthropological studies and its related novel techniques. As the accurate interpretation of the biomedical signs which remained on ancient specimens requires the reference …

Writing Book Chapter for "Ancient Ink: The archaeology of tattooing"

I m joining in writing the chapter "THE MUMMIFICATION PROCESS AMONG THE ‘FIRE MUMMIES’ OF KABAYAN: A PALEOHISTOLOGICAL NOTE" for "ANCIENT INK: THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF TATTOOING (University of Washington Press), along with Drs. Dario Piombino-Mascali, Ronald G. Beckett and Orlando V. Abinion.

Symposium held in 22nd European Meeting of the Paleopathology Association

I am joining in organization and moderation (with Dr. Raffaella Bianucci, University of Warwick) of the 22nd European Meeting of the Paleopathology Association (PPA) that will be held in Zagreb from 28th August to 1st September 2018.

Please see below the details.

Symposium 2. The ecology of climate change and infectious diseases: a gateway between past and present

Symposium organizers and moderators: Dr. Raffaella Bianucci (University of Warwick) and Dr. Dong Hoon Shin (Seoul National University)

Long before the aetiological agents of several infectious pathogens were discovered in the 19th century, humans were aware that climatic factors affect epidemic diseases. Infectious agents – viruses, bacteria, protozoa and multicellular parasites – vary greatly in size, type and mode of transmission, their life cycles being climate-adapted. Therefore, changes in climatic conditions (i.e. temperature, precipitation, and sea level rise) and climate variability may …

Ancient Egyptian Mummy of the first intermediate period

I joined in the international collaboration on the Ancient Egyptian Mummies (Please see below).

The news was reported by "Seeker"
as "Skin Proteins Reveal How Mummies Died"

Published as peer reviewed paper ("Identification of proteins from 4200-year-old skin and muscle tissue biopsies from ancient Egyptian mummies of the first intermediate period shows evidence of acute inflammation and severe immune response") in

Abstract: We performed proteomics analysis on four skin and one muscle tissue samples taken from three ancient Egyptian mummies of the first intermediate period, approximately 4200 years old. The mummies were first dated by radiocarbon dating of the accompany-\break ing textiles, and morphologically examined by scanning electron microscopy of additional skin samples. Proteins were extracted, separated on SDS–PAGE (sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrop…

Abstract to Annual Meeting of Society for American Archaeology in 2018

Abstract sent to 83rd Annual Meeting of Society for American Archaeology - Washington, DC April 11–April 15, 2018

Harappan Necropolis of Rakhigarhi, India: Archaeology and Bioanthropology

Yong Jun Kim 1, Nilesh Jadhav 2, Eun Jin Woo 3, Dong Hoon Shin 1 and Vasant Shinde 2

1. Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea
2. Dept of Archaeology, Deccan College PGRI, Pune, India
3. Dept of Oral Biology, Yonsei Univ, Seoul, South Korea

The number of Harappan cemeteries so far systematically surveyed is far less than that of contemporary settlements. Necropolis site at Rakhigarhi (India) was reported earlier but in small scale investigation. Our investigation for the last three seasons (2013 to 2016) was thus designed for improving this lacuna. We first classified each burial and analyzed statistically. The Harappan people practiced rather humble burial custom, but few were found differently and these burials look more socio-economically affordable than those found in typical…

2017 Korea-Japan Paleopathology Forum, Tokyo, Japan

Korean Association of Paleopathology and Osteoarchaeology (S Korea) and Japanese Association of Paleopathology will hold the Korea-Japan Paleopathology Forum on October, 2017.

Date: 2017/10/21
Venue: Tokyo (University of Tokyo)

>> Podium Presentations:

1. Eun Jin Woo, Hyunwoo Jung, Sunyoung Pak (Yonsei University College of Dentstry): Paleopathological study of a probablecase of treponematosis in a Joseon dynasty population.

2. Hiroshi Iijima, Shinji Harihara, Hitoshi Sumi, Kageyasu Takanashi, Yumi Ueda, Hata Junpei, Yohei Ishizawa, Lim Chun Ren, Ryo Matoba: DNA extaraction from ancient cremated bones using non-powdering sample pre-treatment method.

3. Jong Ha Hong, Chang Seok Oh, Min Seo, Dong Hoon Shin (Seoul National University): DNA Sequences of 18s rRNA and ITS2 genes obtained from ancient Trichuris trichiura eggs remained in Joseon Dynasty mummy coprolites.

4. Manabu Uetsuki: Horses in medieval Japan: paleopathological evidence of various usage.

5. Chang Seok Oh, Jong Ha Hong, Hye…

Presentations: Annual Meeting of Korean Anatomists

67th Annual Meeting for Korean Anatomists:

Two research outcomes are presented in Annual meeting of Korean anatomists-.
Oct 18-20, 2017.
Pusan, South Korea
Genetic study of ancient Trichuris trichiura eggs in Joseon Dynasty specimens

Jong Ha Hong1, Chang Seok Oh1,2, Min Seo3,*, Dong Hoon Shin1,2,*

1Laboratory of Bioanthropology, Paleopathology and History of Diseases, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea; 2Institute of Forensic Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea; 3Department of Parasitology, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, South Korea; *Co-correspondences.

We analyzed Trichuris trichiura (T. trichiura) ancient DNA (aDNA) extracted from the feces or precipitates of 15th to 18th century Korean mummies. After multiple T. trichiura genes in ancient samples were successfully amplified by PCR, consensus sequences were determined by the alignment of individual…

New Paper: The sharp-edged weapon related cut mark in Joseon skull

The presence of sharp-edged weapon related cut mark in Joseon skull discovered at the 16th century market district of Old Seoul City ruins in South Korea



Please see below:

We analyzed Ascaris ancient DNA (aDNA) of cytochrome b (cyt b), cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COX1), NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 (NAD1) and internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) genes extracted from the feces or precipitates of 15th to 18th century Korean mummies. After multiple Ascaris genes in ancient samples were successfully amplified by PCR, consensus sequences could be determined by the alignment of the sequences of cloned PCR products. The obtained sequences of each gene were highly similar to those of Ascaris spp. reported thus far, but were genetically distinct from Baylisascaris, Parascaris, and Toxascaris spp. The current report establishes that the g…

PhD Thesis Supervised: Oh CS "The ancient DNA studies on the human remains excavated from the tombs of Joseon Dynasty"

Chang Seok Oh, my PhD student, got his PhD degree at last. Congrats-.

Introduction: The purpose of ancient DNA (aDNA) study is to provide scientific clues to the solution of various problems that have not been resolved through analysis of DNA extracted from ancient living organisms. However, since the soil of Korea is constituted such that bodies are likely to decay rapidly, aDNA extracted from bodies long-buried in tombs is usually considered to be in a poor preservation state; thus, it is likely that failure will be the result if the aDNA is used for genetic analysis. In this study, therefore, I tried to establish a method of aDNA analysis on human remains buried during the Joseon Dynasty. Also, I applied the established method to archeological samples for confirmation of whether or not aDNA analyses could be useful in the field of archaeological science.
Methods:  The samples used for this study were ancient skeletal remains, teeth or mummified brains found in lime-soil mixture ba…

New Paper: Historical Details about the Meat Consumption and Taeniases in Joseon Period of Korea

Our new paper, "Historical Details about the Meat Consumption and Taeniases in Joseon Period of Korea" is published in Korean Journal of Parasitology.

Previous paleoparasitological studies of Joseon specimens established that the prevalence of Taenia infection was not much different from that of the early 20th century Korean population. As many of taeniases originally diagnosed as Taenia saginata in South Korea were revealed to be actually Taenia asiatica, which share a common intermediate host with T. solium (the pig), Joseon people must have ingested raw pork frequently. However, the current examination of extant Joseon documents revealed that the population ate significant amounts of beef even if the beef ban was enforced; and pork was not consumed as much as we thought. Considering the meat consumption pattern at that time, Joseon people should have been infected by T. saginata more frequently than T. asiatica. This may suggest a low prevalence of T. saginata metacestod…

New Paper: A Case of Ectopic Paragonimiasis in a 17th Century Korean Mummy

Our paper, "A Case of Ectopic Paragonimiasis in a 17th Century Korean Mummy" (Dong Hoon Shin, Yi-Suk Kim, Dong Soo Yoo, Myeung Ju Kim, Chang Seok Oh, Jong Ha Hong, Eunju Lee, Jong Yil Chai, Min Seo) is published in Journal of Parasitology.

Archaeoparasitological studies on fossilized feces obtained from Joseon Dynasty (1392–1910 CE) mummies have provided invaluable data on the patterns of parasitic infection in pre-modern Korean societies. In our recent radiological investigation of a 17th century Joseon mummy discovered in Cheongdo (South Korea), we located a liver mass just below the diaphragm. Anatomical dissection confirmed the presence of a mass of unknown etiology. A subsequent parasitological examination of a sample of the mass revealed a large number of ancient Paragonimus sp. eggs, making the current report the first archaeoparasitological case of liver abscess caused by ectopic paragonimiasis.

This publication is highlighted by NEW SCIENTISTS:
"Mummy autopsy re…

New Paper: Paleogenetic study on the 17th century Korean mummy with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease

Our new paper is published in PloS ONE.

While atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) is known to be common among modern people exposed to various risk factors, recent paleopathological studies have shown that it affected ancient populations much more frequently than expected. In 2010, we investigated a 17th century Korean female mummy with presumptive ASCVD signs. Although the resulting report was a rare and invaluable conjecture on the disease status of an ancient East Asian population, the diagnosis had been based only on anatomical and radiological techniques, and so could not confirm the existence of ASCVD in the mummy. In the present study, we thus performed a paleogenetic analysis to supplement the previous conventional diagnosis of ASCVD. In aDNA extracted from the same Korean mummy, we identified the risk alleles of seven different SNPs (rs5351, rs10757274, rs2383206, rs2383207, rs10757278, rs4380028 and rs1333049) that had already been revealed to be the major risk l…