The first identified case of thalassemia?

I. Hershkovitz*, G. Edelson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The spread of thalassemia among prehistoric populations of the Mediterranean basin has been linked to the increased risk to early agriculturalists posed by the Plasmodium falciparum parasite. We here present the earliest case, to our knowledge, of thalassemia diagnosed on the basis of long bone remains. We further discuss the value of this finding for our understanding of the transition from foraging to agriculture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-54
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Evolution
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1991


  • Neolithic
  • Thalassemia


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