I am specialized in biological anthropology, paleopathology and history of medicine with an emphasis on reconstructing the impact of historical plague pandemics in Europe between the 6th and 18th centuries; currently I investigate the historical impact of plague on Medieval populations and the biological role of rats and rat fleas in the inter- human transmission of the infection.
As a paleopathologist, my research focused on the reconstruction of lifestyles and illnesses of several members belonging to important families from Renaissance Italy (Aragonesi and Medici). By applying the most advanced technologies in medicine and biochemistry, I have investigated the cause of death and the embalming techniques used to preserve both South American and Egyptian mummies (The Tomb of Kha and Meryt and the Tomb assemblage of Queen Nefertari). I currently am the group leader of a multidisciplinary project on Spanish crypt mummies from Quinto (Zaragoza) and the Director of the Human Embalming Project (H.E.P.).
From 2015, I specialized in History of Medicine and Medical Humanities. Together with Francesco Maria Galassi (Flinders University), we introduced a new branch of investigation, namely paleopathography, in classical paleopathology. Paleopathography encompasses both the philological and clinical analysis of ancient documental sources and archives and the clinical investigation of ancient works of art. This in order to identify the historical presentation and evolution of diseases throughout history.
I am the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Handbook of Mummy Studies: Scientific and Cultural Perspectives (SpringerNature) which will be available at the end of 2021 and I am is currently co-writing a book on Art and Medicine in the Uffizi Gallery (Publisher Pontercoboli Editore).
Contact Raffaella at firstname.lastname@example.org