Theses and Dissertations


Cassandra Marie Seda DeGaglia:

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Zuckerman, Molly K.

Committee Member

Ubelaker, Douglas H.

Committee Member

Osterholtz, Anna J.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only


Applied Anthropology

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures


This work identifies and describes pathological skeletal changes associated with and attributable to acquired syphilis and which potentially caused functional impairment within eleven skeletal individuals recovered from five industrial-era London cemeteries. In eight (72.73%), functional impairment was likely or very likely, based on type and distribution of lesions across their skeleton. These impairments likely impacted the individuals’ ability to engage in various forms of physical activity, potentially limiting their economic potential. These results expand our still highly limited understanding of syphilis’s functional impacts within past populations, especially within industrial-era societies, querying longstanding characterizations of tertiary gummatous involvement as benign, while encouraging paleopathological investigations of the functional impacts of syphilis in past populations in which the disease was endemic, such as industrial-era England. Further, with syphilis rates on the rise globally, this information may be informative prognostically for present-day clinical cases of primary to tertiary stage undiagnosed and/or untreated syphilis.