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Paleopathology (or palaeopathology) is defined as the study of ancient diseases in humans and animals recovered from archeological sites. It is a key  contributor to the field of bioarcheology that precisely integrates a biocultural approach to reconstruct past  lived experiences.

Today, the PPA is a global community composed of researchers and students with a background in anthropology, archaeology, medicine, biology, and zoology. Membership is open to all who are interested and dedicated to sharing information, ideas and resources that help us understand health and disease in the past. 

As our motto states: the dead teach the living.

Upcoming events

24th European PPA meeting

 Leiden, The Netherlands

August 21-24, 2024 

*The meeting will take place in hybrid format

The conference will be held at the Kamerlingh Onnes Building in the University of Leiden

CALL for PAPERS is NOW OPEN  - please read the guidelines for abstract submission and use the provided abstract template to submit the abstract.


Check out their website and the updated call for abstracts for all the information!

Award Winners

Congratulations to this the Winners of the North American PPA Conference Presentation Prizes

Cockburn Student Award

Best podium presentation: Rebecca Pitt

Best Poster Presentation: Rachael Hall

Runners-up: Dulce Neves, Amanda Cooke

IJPP Early Career Conference Award

Dr Amy Anderson

Don't forget to enter for a PPA student conference prize in Leiden (members only)

Eve cockburn mentorship award

    Dr David Hunt

For over two decades, David Hunt held the role of Biological Anthropology Collections Manager at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (NMHM), overseeing the Terry Collection and other well-studied skeletal collections. In this position, Dr. Hunt guided hundreds of undergraduates, graduates, young professionals and peers through the steps of their research.

His attention was the same, whether you were a new intern just learning skeletal biology, or an established professional studying for ABFA board certification. He is always encouraging: gently asking questions, eagerly helping with a differential diagnosis, and consistently providing resources for better data collection and analysis.

Additionally, we all know and love Dr. Hunt as a jovial member of the PPA who has enthusiastically supported countless PPA workshops, driving as far as Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, and New Orleans (just to name a few meetings) in order to provide the best examples of pathological conditions. At these meetings he can be found taking multiple students out for lunch or limping through a sea of posters to offer his support to a student project.

In short, the research and education of hundreds of individuals has been touched by David Hunt's encouragement, assistance, and support. He quietly retired from the Smithsonian in 2021, but continues to be an influential presence in our field. 

Kristine Pearlstein


Dear Paleopathology Association Community,

I am humbled to be considered part of a list of extraordinary mentors present in the Eve Cockburn Mentorship Award. This list holds such esteemed members of the paleopathology scientific community.  It is overwhelming to be linked with people whom I saw as my mentors during my professional development.  Eve Cockburn was a highly respected figure and a fine lady. I was fortunate to know Professor Cockburn and had the privilege to spend time with her at PPA meetings in the past.   

I am sorry that I was not able to attend the meetings this year to have been able to celebrate this award with you all.  This is certainly unexpected, and with gratitude, is a cherished recognition.     

Respectfully, Dave Hunt


Paleopathology: The next 50 years
Virtual Special Issue Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Paleopathology Association

The field of paleopathology has changed appreciably over the past 50 years and has and will continue to contribute substantially to our understanding of health and disease across time and space.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Paleopathology Association, Guest Editors, Jane Buikstra and Anne Grauer, cordially invite scholars across many disciplines to contribute to a Special Issue of the International Journal of Paleopathology.

This Special Issue is intended to highlight innovative work that is forward-looking, deeply contextualized, scientifically rigorous, imaginative, and thought-provoking.

Check out the Guidelines and Processes

The Special Issue will be open for new submissions in April 2024 and will remain open until April 30, 2025.

Scholars seeking support for crafting a manuscript in the English language are warmly welcome to reach out to Drs. Buikstra ( or Grauer (

VOlume highlights

The VH for Volumes 43 and 44 of the IJPP have now been selected!

CONGRATULATIONS to SIMON MAYS and JO APPLEBY for their superb contributions!

Check the IJPP page for more information

Both papers are OPEN ACCESS and are freely available to all readers.

International Journal of Paleopathology

The International Journal of Paleopathology carves out a dedicated academic space for communication, collaborations and cutting-edge research in paleopathology - human and non-human. The journal seeks to encourage research and foster interdisciplinary communication.

Find more information about the latest updates and how to publish in the IJPP in our dedicated page.

Volume 45 is now in the making - Check it out!

On the IJPP website,  you will also find the fantastic collection of Special Issues, and the newly-created Volume Highlights which celebrate and promote scientific contributions influencing our field.

REMEMBER! Members of the Paleopathology Association receive free online access to the IJPP.


Visit our awards page...

for information on how to be considered for the Jane E. Buikstra Early Career Award 2023

PPA webinars

We run regular webinars on topics important to paleopathology and our membership. Recordings of these events are normally available on the 'Members Only' page.

Taster! Watch one of our PPA webinars on Colonialism and Bioarchaeology

All recording of our 2022 PPA Webinar series are available on the 'Members Only' Page:

  • On the Edge: Emerging scholarship of Paleopathology and Marginalization
  • Cancer as an ancient disease: past and implications to the present
  • Rare diseases: Good words make good science
  • From paleopathological diagnosis to the biocultural approach: The contribution of hospital archives
  • Non-adult paleopathology: current understandings and debates

March PPA newsletter is out now!

Check it out at the Members' Only page!

PPA newsletter

The Paleopathology Newsletter (PPNL) is issued quarterly. Subscription to the PPNL is a PPA member benefit.

Learn More 

Student group

The PPA Student Group (SG) is open to all student members of the PPA. 

 Learn More

Next Conferences

Future North American meetings: 

Baltimore (March 10-12, 2025) 

Denver (March 16-18, 2026)

Future European Paleopathology Association Meetings:

Leiden, Netherlands (August 21-24, 2024)

Berlin, Germany (2026)

Future PAMinSA Meetings: 

Santiago, Chile (2025)

Did you enjoyed the conference?

Were you inspired by what you saw?

Do you want to be part of our phenomenal community?

Join us!

PPA Members have access to our Newsletters, webinars, abstracts, awards, conference information and access to the International Journal of Paleopathology!

Check our range of membership levels and choose what's best for you!


The need for a consensus and accuracy in the use of descriptive terms in palaeopathology has been a longstanding concern of the PPA. Learn more about adopting appropriate terms in all communications and publications.

Read More Here

For information or queries, contact our Communications and Publicity Liaison 

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