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The 3rd

Korea-Japan Paleopathology Forum

Date: May 23-24, 2019


Jeju National University Hospital 

Jeju Island, South Korea

Scientific Committee

Soong Deok Lee (Seoul National University)
Sunyoung Pak (Seoul National University)
Dong Hoon Shin (Seoul National University)
Hisashi Fujita(Niigata College of Nursing)
Shinji Harihara(The University of Tokyo)
Toshiyuki Tsurumoto (Nagasaki University)

Organizing Committee

Dong Hoon Shin (Seoul National University)
Myeung Ju Kim (Dankook University)
Yuryang Jang (MND Agency for KIA Recovery & Identification)
Eun Jin Woo (Sejong University)

International Advisory Board

Forum Program Now Available

Please Download Below

Jane Buikstra (Arizona State University, USA)

Karl Reinhard (University of Nebraska, USA)
Niels Lynnerup (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Piers Mitchell (University of Cambridge, UK)

Frank Rühli (University of Zurich, Switzerland)

Dario Piombino-Mascali (Vilnius University, Lithuania)

Raffaella Bianucci (University of Warwick, UK)

Guido Lombardi (Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, PERU)

Alena Mayo Iñiguez (Instituto Oswaldo Cruz FIOCRUZ, Brazil)

Erdene Myagmar (National University of Mongolia, Mongolia)

The 3rd Korea-Japan Paleopathology Forum: Program


May 23 (Thursday), 2019

Podium Session (14:50-16:40): Chaired by Shin DH and Fujita H

14:50-15:20 (Invited Lecture): Reconstructing the diet of Bronze Age populations from Mongolia: Bioarchaeological and paleopathological perspectives by Erdene Myagmar (Professor, National University of Mongolia)


15:20-15:35 Korea-1: Stature estimation of Korean skeletal remains in the archaeological context by Yangseung Jeong (Assistant professor, Department of Biology, Middle Tennessee State University, US)


15:35-15:50 Japan-1: Life and death of classical horses in Japan: pathology, mortality, and butchery by Manabu Uettsuki ((Teikyo University, Yamanashi, Japan)  


15:50-16:05 Korea-2: Analysis of traumatic and pathological matters from Korean War Casualties by Yuryang Jang and Hyejin Lee (MND Agency for KIA Recovery & Identification, South Korea)

16:05-16:20 Japan-2: A case report on Iron age human fractures in Mongolia probably due to the horse riding habits by Hisashi Fujita (Niigata College of Nursing, Japan), Fujisawa Shiori (Aomori Chuo Gakuin University), Erdene Myagmar (National University of Mongolia)


16:20-16:40 Q&A

Special Lecture for KAPA (16:50-17:30): Chaired by Kim MJ


Tales from fragments: A Review of Indian Human skeletal Studies by Veena Mushrif-Tripathy (Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute, India)

Poster Session (More to be added)

P37: Molecular and phylogenetic analysis of 5 species of ancient parasites using the coprolites obtained from Joseon Dynasty mummies by Jong Ha Hong, Chang Seok Oh, Jong-Yil Chai, Min Seo and Dong Hoon Shin (Seoul National University, South Korea)

P38: Evaluating the skeletal evidence of trauma from the Korean war casualties by Hyejin Lee and Yuryang Jang (MND Agency for KIA Recovery & Identification, South Korea)

P39: Distribution of caries cavities in the Nukdo skeletal remains, South Korea by Jun Koike (Daito Bunka University, Saitama, Japan) and Hisashi Fujita 

P40: Dental Health and Non-Specific Indicators of Stress in Human Skeletal Remains from Sapilang, Ilocos Sur, Philippines by Eleanor Marie S. Lim (University of the Philippines-Diliman)

P41: Identification of bone remains involved in Jeju 4.3 incident through forensic SNP analysis. By Sohee Cho, Moon-Young Kim, Soong Deok Lee

P42: A possible metastatic cancer case in the Karachelskoye, Russia from early 18th to 19th century by Sergey Slepchenko, Igor Novikov, Elena Gorbach, Tamara Silantjeva, Pavel Nezvetov , Chang Seok Oh, Min Sun Lee and Myeung Ju Kim

Paleopathology Forum

Abstract submission is now closed-. Thanks!!! 

Call for Abstracts

Abstracts accepted

[Invited Lecture] 

Reconstructing the diet of Bronze Age populations from Mongolia: Bioarchaeological and paleopathological perspectives 

Erdene Myagmar

Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, National University of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Archaeological studies in Mongolia during last decade identified different archaeological cultures dating to the Bronze Age (2800 to 1000 c BC). Based on the prevalence of dental diseases, this paper aims to reconstruct diet of Bronze Age populations from Mongolia analyzing their alimentation structure and determining the level of biological stress. Analyses of dental pathologies such as caries, periodontal disease, alveolar abscess, dental calculus, allow us to suggest low carbohydrate and high animal protein diet in separate cultures from Bronze Age, as well as in total populations taken together. High prevalence of linear enamel hypoplasia indicates frequent biological stress during childhood development, while severe attrition and dental trauma point to regular use of rough ingredients in the food. Difference in the prevalence of alveolar abscess and AMTL for populations from eastern and western Mongolia may show different level of adaptation to pathogenic factors in the West and East of Mongolian territory.

[Podium Presentation] 

Stature estimation of Korean skeletal remains in the archaeological context


Yangseung Jeong 1), Ashlin P. Harris 2)

1) Department of Biology, Middle Tennessee State University, USA.
2) Computational Science Program, Middle Tennessee State University, USA.

Stature of archaeologcial skeletal remains are often estimated to understand the biological characteristics of the past people and the socioeconomic condition of their societies. In Korea, different methods have been used to estimate stature of archaeological samples; however, their performance has not been systematically evaluated. The purpose of this study is to introduce various stature estimation methods used in Korea and compare their performance when they are applied to skeletal remains recovered from archaeological sites. Anatomical statures of 111 skeletons(61 males, 50 females) from the Joseon period were reconstructed following Raxter et al.(2006), which were regarded as their true statures. Then, statures of the same individuals were mathematically estimated using regression equations of seven different studies: Choi et al.(1997), Lee et al.(2014, 2015), Jeong and Jantz(2016), Lee et al.(2017), Pearson(1899), Trotter and Gleser(1958), and Fujii(1960). For a comparison purpose, the performance of each method was evaluated using the Bayes factors(BF). When statures were estimated using the femur, Jeong and Jantz's(2016) equations performed best for both sexes(BF=9.4 and 8.0 for males and females, respectively). Choi et al.'s(1997) equation also produced decent results for males(BF=5.9). When the male humerus was used, Jeong and Jantz's(2016) equation yielded the best results(BF=9.6). In females, Pearson's(1899) left humerus equation(BF=7.9) slightly exceeded the performance of the Jeong and Jantz's(2016) equation(BF=6.2). Overall, Korean-specific equations based on modern cadaver samples tend to overestimate the stature of archaeological samples except for Choi et al.(1997). Among the non-Korean-specific methods, Trotter and Gleser's(1958) equations tend to yield overestimated results while Fujii's (1960) equations exhibited the opposite tendency.  Selection of appropriate stature estimation methods for archaeological samples is important because biased estimates will result in a misunderstanding of the people and societies of the past. This study not only provides objective criteria for a method selection but also allows assess the degree of bias which different method would possibly produce. 


[Podium Presentation] 

Life and death of classical horses in Japan: pathology, mortality, and butchery

Manabu Uetsuki

Research Institute of Cultural Properties, Teikyo University, Yamanashi, Japan

Horse remains belonging to the classical period (AD 10th C.) excavated from Hayashinomae site, Aomori Prefecture were analyzed for their pathological traits and slaughtering marks to discuss usage in life and after death. Bit marks were observed on most mandibles, suggesting their use for riding. High rate of ossification on the ligaments of metapodials indicates heavy labor. Majority of horses died younger than 10 years of age. All the bones were found disarticulated, sometime bearing cut marks implying that most horses were slaughtered after they passed their prime as riding horses. Locations of the cut marks indicate slaughtering for meat and for skin. In addition, significant amount of juvenile remains was found, which is rare in other sites, considered to be the characteristic of horse breeding site. This is consistent with the fact that the area is a traditional horse breeding area. Evidence of such antemortem and postmortem treatment in horses is rare, and its implication in understanding horse breeding in the classical period will be discussed.

[Podium Presentation] 

Analysis of traumatic and pathological matters from Korean War Casualties 

Yuryang Jang 1), Hyejin Lee 1,2) 

1) Ministry of National Defense Agency of KIA Recovery & Identification, Seoul, Korea,
2) Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Institute of Forensic Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea



The casualties of the Korean war, combining all those who were killed, wounded, or missing were about four million. There are still approximately 130,000 missing soldiers from the Korean war. The Ministry of National Defense Agency for KIA Recovery & Identification (MAKRI) is charged with the mission of accomplishing the fullest accounting of all Korean missing as a result of the Korean War (1950-1953). MAKRI operate under the Department of National Defense, is playing all-important role in identifying missing Korean soldiers using the forensic anthropological techniques. The final goal is positively identify the remains and return to their bereaved families. Trauma is among the most important clues of the data providing information related to violence, battles and massacres among past populations. In addition, evidences of trauma on the skeletons are wounds caused by weapons that harm the bone tissue in a curtain way, depending on the kind of weapon used, the bone involved, the direction and force of attack. Therefore, analyzing and recording of trauma is very important step to identify the cause of death and to reconstruct the circumstantial information of battle. The focus of this presentation is on the injuries sustained by the soldiers both prior and during the battle. The former are usually regarded as pathological findings and the latter as traumatic changes. In the case of war dead, the prevalence of the latter is overwhelmingly higher than those of the former. Wounds inflicted by various kinds of projectiles, mostly to the long bones such as arms and legs, were predominant. 

[Podium Presentation] 

A case report on Iron age human fractures in Mongolia probably due to the horse riding habits

Hisashi Fujita 1), Fujisawa Shiori 2), Erdene Myagmar 3)

1) Department of Bioanthropology, Niigata College of Nursing, Japan
2) Faculty of Nursing, Aomori Chuo Gakuin University, Japan
3) Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, National University of Mongolia, Mongolia

Chandaman mountain site is a burial site in western Mongolia. Many human skeletal remains were excavated from this site and these skeletal remains are dated back to the Iron Age of Mongolia (BC. 7th to 2nd centuries). We investigated these materials and could find many fractures of the upper and the lower limbs including the ribs and spines. Although we could recognize bone deformation, the evidence of healing progress is also clear and there are judged that they survived after the fracture were occurred. In addition, fractures of the femoral head and deformation of the greater trochanter were also found in many individuals. Since these fractures are closely related horse riding, it was speculated that many of them occurred when the specimen is dropped out their horse. In this forum, we will introduce these fracture cases. 

[Poster Presentation] 


Molecular and phylogenetic analysis of 5 species of ancient parasites using the coprolites and remains from Joseon Dynasty mummies

Jong Ha Hong 1), Chang Seok Oh 1,2), Jong-Yil Chai 3), Min Seo 4), Dong Hoon Shin 1,2)

1) Laboratory of Bioanthropology, Paleopathology and History of Diseases, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea 

2) Institute of Forensic Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea

3) Department of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea

4) Department of Parasitology, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, South Korea; *Co-correspondences. 

With the development of molecular biological research techniques, this has also affected studies on paleontology and ancient environment. Over the past several decades, scholars have achieved remarkable results in studies of ancient infectious diseases. However, it is true that the number of aDNA cases reported so far was too insufficient to get detailed information about ancient parasites genetics. Fortunately, by paleoparasitological studies in South Korea over the past several years, we collected a number of 15th to 18th century Korean mummy coprolites or remains in which the presence of ancient parasite eggs was microscopically confirmed. Utilizing the ancient specimens in this study, we analyzed multiple DNA regions of Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, Paragonimus westermani, Clonorchis sinensis and Metagonimus yokogawai aDNA. PCR, cloning and sequencing analyses of multiple DNA regions of mitochondrial or nuclear DNA were performed for diagnosis and reveal genetic characteristics of ancient parasites. Using the aligned clone sequences, consensus sequences of aDNA regions obtained from 5 parasite species were then determined for each mummy case. We used NCBI BLAST tool; and then inferred the phylogenetic relationship among taxa by the Maximum likelihood (ML) method. In the result, we prove that DNA analysis could be useful for the differential diagnosis of ancient parasite in case that ancient parasite eggs were morphologically indeterminate for species identification. Considering very few cases or no case reporting on ancient parasite DNA so far, the current study significantly expanded the existing gene pool of these 5 species of parasites paleogenetics. This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (no. NRF-2016R1A2B4015669).


[Poster Presentation] 

Dental health and diet in Siberian natives and Russian settlers in the 16th to 19th century West Siberia

Hyejin Lee 1,2), Jong Ha Hong 1), Sergey Slepchenko 3), Dong Hoon Shin 1)

1) Lab of Bioanthropology, Paleopathology and Historyof Diseases, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Institute of Forensic Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea,
2) Ministry of National Defense Agency of KIA Recovery & Identification, Seoul, Korea,
3) Tyumen Scientific Center of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Tyumen, Russia.

Teeth are often recorded and analyzed in bioarchaeological and paleopathological investigations because they are highly mineralized, making them more resistant to taphonomic factors. With the substantial quantity of teeth available in the archaeological record, dental status analysis has proved to be a valuable tool in the evaluation of health and diet of people in the past. In this presentation, dental remains from the two different populations in West Siberia are examined in order to verify the differences of oral health status associated with distinct subsistence patterns: hunting and gathering and agriculture. West Siberia, encompassing a vast area of the Eurasian continent, is a very unique place where many people have coexisted there while depending on different subsistence strategies. From the 16th to 19th century, newly arrived agriculturalist Russian settlers from the west lived in relative proximity to native Siberian hunter-gatherer peoples. From the perspective of paleopathology, these two groups with their different lifestyles are excellent subjects for research about dental-pathological differences between historical populations of hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists. Analyses focus on the frequency and severity of dental health indicators for the evidence of calculus, caries, antemortem tooth loss, periodontitis, abscess and attrition both among and within the populations of Siberian natives and Russian settlers, in order to reconstruct health and behavior and to test for possible disparities which may reflect the varying effectiveness of different adaptive regimes. This research was supported by Basic Science Reseach Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea by the Ministry of Education(2017R1D1A1B03030127).



[Poster Presentation] 

Distribution of caries cavities in the Nukdo skeletal remains, South Korea

Jun Koike 1), Hisashi Fujita 2)

1) Department of Nursing, Faculty of Sports and Health Science, Daito Bunka University, Japan
2) Department of Bioanthropology, Niigata College of Nursing, Japan


The outbreak of caries cavities is believed to be closely associated with oral health, including dietary habits, and the age of the individuals. Therefore, the study of dental carious lesions is thought to offer a key to understanding the dietary habits, subsistence, life span and custom of oral health, including lifestyle, in not ancient and/or the modern populations in various parts of the world. We investigated the carious lesions on ancient Nukdo human skeletal remains in South Korea. The classification on carious lesion is followed by Fujita (1994). So, caries cavities of Nukdo’s dentitions were classified into eight groups: occlusal surface (OS), approximal surface (AS), neck and/or root of approximal surface(NRAS), buccal surface (BS), neck and/or root of buccal surface (NLBS), lingual surface (LS), neck and/or root of lingual surfaces (NRLS), and unjudgeable (U). In this forum, we will present the result of carious lesions, and will discuss the paleo-health regarding Nukdo skeletal remains.



[Poster Presentation] 

Dental Health and Non-Specific Indicators of Stress in Human Skeletal Remains from Sapilang, Ilocos Sur, Philippines

Eleanor Marie S. Lim

Archaeological Studies Program, University of the Philippines-Diliman, Philippines

This study investigates biological indicators of dental disease and nonspecific stress in human skeletal remains from Sapilang archaeological site in Ilocos Sur to determine the health status of its past inhabitants during the 12th to 16th century Philippines. Samples (n=12) were visually analyzed and scored according to established methods to determine the biological profiles of each individual. Dental pathologies (caries, calculus and antemortem tooth loss) were assessed by both the number of individuals and the number of elements observed, while nonspecific stress markers (enamel hypoplasia, cribra orbitalia, porotic hyperostosis and Harris lines) were determined individually by occurrence. Only the male adults exhibited carious lesions and antemortem tooth loss (AMTL). Overall calculus deposits range from moderate to slightly severe. Both adults and subadults displayed at least one of the nonspecific stress markers, however Harris lines were not detected in the radiographs. The low incidence of caries and homogeneity of calculus accumulation distribution suggest the past inhabitants of Sapilang may have consumed low-cariogenic carbohydrates such as rice and vegetables, and high amount of marine resources. Additionally, this pattern is attributed to the practice of chewing betel nut (Areca catechu), which is cariostatic and promotes alkalinity in the oral cavity. The frequency of the nonspecific indicators of stress in both age cohorts indicates that the individuals have suffered early life insults, survived, but succumbed when their adaptive response failed another attack from stressors. Overall, the poor oral hygiene may have led to increased risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, and the stress experienced early in life may have instigated life-long frailty in the individuals.



[Poster Presentation] 

Identification of bone remains involved in Jeju 4.3 incident through forensic SNP analysis

Sohee Cho, Moon-Young Kim, Soong Deok Lee 

Institute of Forensic and Anthropological Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea

DNA analysis is a reliable tool for individual identification based on scientific evidence, which has been widely used in many cases, such as criminal investigation, paternity testing, and missing person identification. This DNA testing is also valuable in victim identification, especially in a case involved in mass disaster victim identification. However, when dealing with challenging biological sample, such as bone or teeth, could result in partial DNA profiles mainly due to DNA degradation. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) marker has a great potential for the purpose of this application, along with the development of high-throughput SNP genotyping. Despite such advancement, no research has adopted simultaneous SNP typing system for mass disaster victim analyses until now. In this presentation, the authors have successfully analyzed 51 bone remain samples, retrieved from historic Jeju 4.3 massacre, by simultaneous high-throughput SNP genotyping that no other institution or laboratory has experienced. This presentation will demonstrated that the SNP typing is a promising platform for analyzing challenging casework samples for individual identification.

About Korea-Japan Paleopathology Forum

Paleopathology is a research that aims to study on the health and disease status of ancient people through scientific methods. Over the past several decades, the paleopathological achievements of great pioneers have been accomplished globally. Unlike other regions or continents, however, in East Asia (or Asia-Pacific region), there are very few researchers currently acting in this field.

To promote exchanges among concerned researchers, a group of scholars organized paleopathology association in Korea (Korean Academy of Paleopathology and Osteoarchaeology) as well as Japan (Japanese Society of Paleopathology). And both countries’ paleopathologists have held academic forum every two years: Korea-Japan Paleopathology Forum in Pusan (2013) and in Tokyo (2017). Our ultimate goal is to create an academic conference for the paleopathologists in entire Asia Pacific region. To achieve this goal, we are seeking closer interaction with the Paleopathology Associations that are organized on different continents so far.


Now we proudly report that the 3rd Korea-Japan Paleopathology Forum 2019 will be held in South Korea (Aug 23-24, 2019; Jeju Island). This forum can be invaluable opportunity to review the current trends and future prospects in paleopathology with experts and specialists in East Asia. See you in Jeju Island!

The Venue: Jeju Island

The venue of K-J Paleopathology Forum, Jeju Island, is located in the South Sea of Korean peninsula. The island is the UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site. It has a moderate climate; even in winter, the temperature rarely falls below 0 °C. No visa requirements for visitors up to 90 days. The unique sites of Jeju Island are attractive to tourists. The scenery includes Hallasan Mountain, a number of seaside falls, and big caves. You can travel this island's coast (about 182 km) by car, motor scooter or bike. There are also many trails for backpackers. 

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Jeju Island and South Korea

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