The concluding section of each form is dedicated to diagnosis. The recording system presented has been designed to encourage the recording of as much descriptive information as possible prior to the determination of the aetiology. It is only through clear description that accurate diagnosis is achievable. Even where description does not permit the determination of a diagnosis, or expertise in diagnosing pathological conditions is lacking, a full and precise description may allow that condition to be either diagnosed by others or re-evaluated in the light of new evidence. The importance of differential diagnosis is also critical; it is essential that all possible diagnoses be considered in this section, to avoid conclusions being drawn that are more specific than the evidence warrants. This is particularly key in animal palaeopathology, where complete consensus on the diagnostic traits of every condition is still lacking and many pathologies will manifest themselves in similar ways. It must also be recognised that a single anatomical element may present a range of pathological evidence attributable to different disease processes, which may confuse diagnosis.
© Internet Archaeology
Last updated: Wednesday 8th November 2006