Arthur C. Aufderheide

MED - Image - Size 2 - ArthurAufderheideProfessor emeritus

Director, Paleobiology Laboratory


My research focus is paleoepidemiology/paleopathology—the reconstruction of disease patterns in ancient populations. Together with several colleagues we have pioneered the field of scientific mummy studies. Using ancient DNA methods, with the assistance of biochemist Wilmar Salo, we have demonstrated the presence of tuberculosis in the Americas five centuries before Columbus arrived. We also established that American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) was well established in South America’s forests long before humans migrated to that continent. Publications include four books on that topic and more than 100 articles in scientific journals.


  • 1946, M.D., University of Minnesota


  • Course Director: Cardiovascular System
  • Faculty: Respiratory, Gastrointestinal, Hematopoiesis Systems

Publications on PubMed


Ortner DJ, Aufderheide AC (eds.) (1991) Paleopathology: Current Synthesis and Future Options. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Press.

Aufderheide AC and Rodriguez-Martin C. (eds). (1998) The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Paleopathology. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Aufderheide AC. (2003) The Scientific Study of Mummified Human Remains. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Aufderheide AC, Cartmell L, Zlonis M. (2003) Bio-anthropological features of human mummies in Kellis 1 cemetery: The database for mummification methods. In Bowen GE, Hope CA: The Oasis Papers 3. Proceedings of the Third International Conference on the Dakhleh Oasis Project. Dakhleh Oasis Project: Monograph 14. Oxford, England: Oxbow Books, pp. 137-151.

Selected Articles in Journals:

Cartmell L, Aufderheide AC, Springfield A, Weems C, Springfield A. The frequency and antiquity of prehistoric coca-leaf-chewing practices in northern Chile: radioimmunoassay of a cocaine metabolite in human-mummy hair. Latin American Antiquity 2(3)260-268, 1991.

Aufderheide AC, Aturaliya S, Focacci G. Pulmonary disease in a sample of mummies from the AZ-75 cemetery in northern Chile's Azapa valley. Chungará Revista de Antropologia Chilena (University of Tarapaca, Arica, Chile) 34(2):253-263, 2002.

Aufderheide AC, Salo W, Madden M, Streitz J, Buikstra J, Guhl F, Arriaza B, Renier C, Wittmers LE Jr, Fornaciari G, Allison M. A 9,000 year record of Chagas' disease. PNAS 101(7):2034-2039, 2004.

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  • Last modified on October 21, 2011