Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (04): 727-732.doi: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2020.0043

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Global History of Health Project Asia Module: A big dada research on health, disease and lifestyle in ancient Asia populations

WANG Qian1(), ZHANG Quanchao2   

  1. 1. Department of Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University College of Dentistry, 3302 Gaston Ave, Dallas, Texas 75246, USA
    2. School of Archaeology, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, China
  • Received:2020-07-09 Revised:2020-08-31 Online:2020-11-15 Published:2020-11-25
  • Contact: WANG Qian


The Global History of Health Project(GHHP), started by Richard Steckel and colleagues, is a platform to systematically document a series of selected health and disease parameters of human skeletal remains of recent millennia in the context of environmental and socioeconomic changes. This unique project provides an unprecedented look of recent human history to gauge the quality of life and human adaptability in challenging living conditions. Inspired by the GHHP saga staged in the Americas and Europe, we have initiated the GHHP- Asia Module in 2018 to extend this project to Asia, an important theater for the rise of many first civilizations. Human burials have been found throughout the Asian continent from the Neolithic Age to Bronze and Iron Ages and onwards. Most importantly, the majority of burials are associated with archaeological evidence of environmental settings and socioeconomic modes. The project will unlock rich yet mostly untapped information from large skeletal collections in China, Mongolia, Japan, South Korea, East Russia, India, and Southeast Asia and beyond, and establish a contexualized database recording the history of human pathology, focusing on oral pathology and joint diseases, in Asia during the past 10,000 years. The inclusion of the Asia story in GHHP will not only enrich the first hand skeletal and oral health status over generations in recent human history in an evolutionary sense, but also expand existing databases for global and local health agency authorities on policy making for contemporary populations with different economic-social status, ranging from pre-agriculture to modernization.

Key words: Recent human evolution, Bioarcheology, Paleopathology, Data mining, Public health policy

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