Paola took her BSc in Biological Anthropology at Universidad Nacional de La Plata (Buenos Aires, Argentina) in 2002 to then receive her MSc in Human Osteology and Palaeopathology at Bradford University in 2004 and her PhD in Palaeopathology at Durham University in 2010 with a Durham Doctoral Fellowship Award.
She worked commercially for Archaeology South-East (University College London) between 2012-2017 carrying out excavation and post-excavation assessment and analysis of human and cremated remains spanning temporarily from Neolithic to post-medieval times.
In 2017 she was appointed as an Associate Lecturer in Osteoarchaeology in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York where she teaches Practical Skills: Human and Animal Bones and contributes to World Archaeology: Settlements and Society, Introduction to Archaeological Sciences, the Archaeology of the Human Skeleton and Skeletal Evidence for Health in the Past.
My current research interests include the study of health and disease in past populations, particularly British, European, and Amerindians from South America, the history of medicine, and funerary archaeology of human remains. Some of the most recent examples include:
I am currently supervising Undergraduate, Masters and PhD dissertations and I am happy to supervise students willing to conduct research on any aspect of the above-mentioned topics and other themes related to osteoarchaeology and palaeopathology of past populations.
-PhD Thesis Supervised
Aster Wood -2021- current: Before and after: how the societal transition after the fall of the Roman Empire affected the health of British people
-Masters Dissertations Supervised
-The evolution of wisdom teeth: analysing and comparing mandibular third molar eruption and impaction of medieval and modern populations
-Set in stone? the function(s) of 19th-century funerary monuments in York Cemetery
-Investigating pneumonia mortality and socio-economic inequality in York, from 1837 to today, using the York Cemetery Burial Register
-Paget’s disease of bone: a macroscopic and radiographic diagnosis in the early medieval cemetery of the Lincoln Bypass, Lincolnshire
-In memory of: exploring cancer in York, 1837-1927 via York Cemetery’s Burial Register
-The evidence for tumours among the individuals buried at the medieval Abbey of St James’, Northampton
-Unravelling the truth: the origin of artificial mummification in Neolithic Egypt
-Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease: a palaeopathological study of a rare medical phenomenon
-Mapping past parasitism: a regional analysis of paleoparasite distribution and its significance for past populations
-The Brighton Quakers: using stable isotopes to determine diet and health in post-medieval Quakers from Brighton
-Smoking clay pipes and life expectancy: cases from the Queen's Chapel of the Savoy, London
-An investigation of childhood stress at the Anglo-Saxon site Land to the Rear of 23-49 Fordham Road, Soham, Cambridgeshire
-Undergraduate Dissertations Supervised
-A study of septal aperture of Chinchorro people
-Assessing biological and behavioural theories of sex-based dental caries prevalence through an early Medieval cemetery sample from Lincoln, England
-The archaeological evidence of origin, domestication, trading, consumption, and addiction to opium over time
-A study of skeletal dysplasia in the archaeological record: a focus on achondroplasia
-The synthesis and interpretation of funerary developments and the material culture of the Chinchorro culture
-Social perceptions of disease with a funerary archaeology lens
-Evidence for developmental dysplasia of the hip in the British archaeological
-Health, stress and industrialization: a comparative study of cribra orbitalia in medieval and post-medieval London
-Skeletons in the closet: the ethics of bioarchaeological research on human remains in England
-Wealth and health: a comparative study of dental enamel hypoplasia in contrasting socioeconomic populations from 18th and 19th-century London
-‘Parry’ fractures: useful or misleading evidence for interpersonal violence in osteoarchaeology?
-Mummification during Egypt’s 18th Dynasty: the science and symbolism behind the natron solution technique
-British plaster burials: Roman mummification at the edge of an empire
-The continuity of life: a comparative analysis between the Chinchorro mummies worship and the contemporary ancestors’ veneration among the Indonesian Toraja culture
-The prevalence of infectious disease in urban post-medieval populations from the 18th to the early 20th century. An in-depth examination of the impact of tuberculosis and syphilis on past populations from York Cemetery, featuring a case study from London
-The anthropological and osteological significance of trepanation: contextualising two case studies from Soham Cambridgeshire
-The evidence of smallpox in the archaeological record: a case from Soham, Cambridgeshire
-A study of congenital abnormalities from the post-medieval cemetery of Queens Chapel of the Savoy, London
-An investigation into the relationship between dental enamel hypoplasia and Harris lines as a cause of stress in sub-adult individuals from St. James's Abbey, Northampton
-A study of childhood stress indicators: investigating the relationship between Harris lines in the ulnae and dental enamel hypoplasia in the Medieval skeletal assemblage of St. James
-Side dominance and handedness using the humerus: a study of upper limb robusticity among the St. James population
-A study of parturition scars: how reliable are they? An analysis of the skeletal assemblage of St. James
-What evidence is there for autoimmune diseases in the archaeological record?
-A study of syphilis in post-medieval Britain: the evidence for mercury treatment and stigma in the archaeological record
-A study of the relationship between Schmorl's nodes and body mass and what this indicates about health and lifestyle
-The Rampion burial. Contextualising a Saxon-Norman period burial from Sussex
-A study of dental health of the female population at the cemetery of St James, Northampton
-Death and the desert: a comparative study of ancient Egyptian and Chinchorro mortuary treatment
-Pigs in blankets. A 21st-century experiment investigating the effects of ancient Chancay, Yemeni and Egyptian embalming techniques on pig's trotters
-The root of the problem. Ante-mortem tooth loss and its underlying pathologies in the adult inhumations at Land to the Rear of California, Baldock, Hertfordshire
-A study on the skeletal assemblage from Malmesbury Abbey and discussion on medieval trauma
Ponce P. (2012) A comparative study of markers of occupational stress in coastal fishers and inland agriculturalists from northern Chile. In: Proceedings of the Twelve Annual Conference of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology. Mitchell P. Buckberry J. (Eds) British Archaeological Reports International Series 2380: 71-85. Oxford: Archaeopress.
Ponce P. Ghidini G. Gonzalez-José R. (2008) External auditory exostosis “at the end of the world”. The southernmost evidence according to the latitudinal hypothesis. In: Proceedings of the Eighth Annual Conference of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology. Brickley M., Smith M. (Eds). British Archaeological Reports International Series 1743:101-107. Oxford: Archaeopress.
ARCHAEOLOGY DATA SERVICE ARCHIVES
Member of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology (BABAO)
Member of the Paleopathology Association (PPA)
2017-2018 collaboration with the Museum of Brighton (East Sussex) in relation to the launch of the Archaeology Gallery at the end of 2018 and the analysis and display of 5 skeletons representing the early inhabitants of the city from the Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Romano-British and Saxon periods.