La paleohistología y el estudio de restos humanos: aproximaciones pasadas, presentes y futuras


  • Sandra Assis CIAS - Research Centre for Anthropology and Health, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Portugal


The invention of the microscope revolutionized the course of human knowledge. This instrument changed the face of science and of previous beliefs, expanded the horizons of knowledge, and challenged philosophical and scientific thought, especially in the field of natural sciences and medicine. In the domain of bioarchaeology, the introduction of histological techniques was important; not only to identify body tissues and to diagnose diseases in mummified remains, but also to understand bone and teeth microstructure, and associated patterns of response to environmental constraints. In this paper a critical review of the major contributions of histology to the growing body of knowledge in paleopathology and bioarchaeology will be presented, focusing on the current multiple applications of microscopy, its limitations, and its future challenges.

KEY WORDS microscopy; dry bone remains; multiple approaches


La invención del microscopio ha revolucionado el curso del conocimiento humano. Este instrumento cambió la “cara” de la ciencia y de las creencias anteriores, amplió los horizontes del conocimiento y retó al pensamiento filosófico y científico, especialmente en el campo de las ciencias naturales y la medicina. En el dominio de la bioarqueología, la introducción de técnicas histológicas fue determinante, no sólo para identificar los tejidos del cuerpo y diagnosticar enfermedades en restos momificados, sino también para comprender la microestructura y dinámica de los huesos y los dientes, y los patrones asociados de respuesta a las restricciones ambientales. En este trabajo se presenta una revisión crítica de las principales contribuciones de la histología al creciente cuerpo de conocimientos de la paleopatología y la bioarqueología, con énfasis en las actuales aplicaciones de la microscopía, sus limitaciones y los desafíos para el futuro.

PALABRAS CLAVE microscopía, restos humanos, múltiples enfoques


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Assis, S. (2015). La paleohistología y el estudio de restos humanos: aproximaciones pasadas, presentes y futuras. Revista Argentina De Antropología Biológica, 18(2). Recuperado a partir de