The ICAZ Animal Palaeopathology Working Group was established in 1999 to provide an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of theoretical and methodological issues relating to the study of animal health, disease, and injury in the past (Thomas and Hammon 1999). At the outset, three specific areas of concern were identified with the state of the discipline:
1. lack of integration of palaeopathological data with other forms of archaeological evidence;
2. inconsistent and inadequate recording practices, resulting in the treatment of paleopathologies as ‘interesting specimens’, with little concern for geographic and diachronic variation in prevalence;
3. limited understanding of the underlying biological processes of many different types of pathology.
The APWG is committed to developing a series of resources to aid those interested in studying animal palaeopathology, disseminating good practice and current research, and providing a variety of media for discussing problems and methods. As part of our remit, we regularly organise meetings and the group has an e-mail list upon which all members are free to post discussion topics.
Thomas R, and Hammon A. 1999. Veterinary Palaeopathology Working Group. Organ: the newsletter of the Osteoarchaeology Research Group 20: 2–3.