We show that statistical modeling of analytical results is useful in providing insights into metabolism and disease in bioarcheology. Our results also imply that during the Renaissance in Europe widespread pollution of the biosphere with heavy metals such as mercury and lead affected the Italian nobility at that time.The activity of biologic clocks which control metabolism and autonomic nervous system (ANS) function can be gleaned from the analysis of hair. This provides a means of assessing the health of individuals who lived some six centuries before the present and allows the reconstruction of disease from archived tissues such as hair.
Qualls, C., Bianucci, R., Legeros, R., Bromage, T., Lanzirotti, A., Giuffra, V., … Appenzeller, O. (2016). Neurotoxins during the Renaissance. Bioarcheology of Ferrante II of Aragon (1469-1496) and Isabella of Aragon (1470-1524). Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 5, 542–546. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.01.013