Samantha L Purchase

BA, MA

Department of Archaeology

Research Student

Thesis- A Radiographic Analysis of Middle Ear Infection in Human Skeletal Remains

Samantha Purchase-Manchester
slpurchase1@sheffield.ac.uk

Full contact details

Samantha L Purchase
Department of Archaeology
Minalloy House
Regent Street
Sheffield
S10 2TN
Qualifications
  • MA Archaeology – Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
    • Dissertation- Infectious Disease as an Indicator of Physiological Stress in the Middle Holocene Cis-Baikal.
  • BA Archaeology (High Honours) – Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
Research interests

Thesis- A Radiographic Analysis of Middle Ear Infection in Human Skeletal Remains

My research interests lie in the realm of paleopathology. I am fascinated by the expression of otitis and mastoiditis in human skeletal remains and I am working towards adapting modern clinical diagnostic practices to an archaeological need.

Otitis media and mastoiditis are under-studied, since current diagnostic methods are either destructive (e.g., sectioning) or financially and logistically limiting (e.g., transporting crania or temporal bones to hospitals for imaging).

I aim to simplify diagnosis by creating a new method using existing technology that is both portable and cost-effective. My aim is to have these obscure upper respiratory infections represented in the literature to increase our understanding of the lifeways, mortality, and morbidity of past populations.


Thesis Abstract

The aim of this project is to develop a new method of diagnosing otitis media (middle ear infection) and mastoiditis (mastoid infection) in osteological samples.

Middle ear infections are not often studied archaeologically, though they are common childhood maladies—even in the age of antibiotics (e.g., mastoiditis) (Go et al., 2000; Kuczkowski and Mikaszewski 2001)—and can have debilitating—even life-threatening—complications (Go et al., 2000; Kuczkowski and Mikaszewski 2001).

Regardless, a consistent, clinical, accessible, and non-destructive approach to studying otitis media and mastoiditis does not exist and middle ear infection has often been ignored.

Thus, this project will adapt a novel imaging system and clinical diagnostic practices to the study of middle ear infection in dry bone. It explores the use of the Aribex NOMAD Pro hand-held X-ray and Dr. Suni Plus Intraoral Digital Light Sensor as viable diagnostic tools by using them to image the mastoids of the individuals housed in the University of Sheffield osteological collection (n=+2000).

The sample is ideal for a study of middle ear infection, as it sits either side of the Industrial Revolution, an era that saw the amount of air pollution (a leading risk factor for respiratory infections) (Albalak, 1997; Brachman, 1990; de Koning et al., 1985; D’Souza, 1997; Ellegård, 1996; Headland, 1989; Lewis et al., 1995; Merritt and Pfeiffer, 2000; Pérez-Padilla et al., 1996; Wright et al., 1994) in Britain rise drastically (Kunnas et al., 2014; Pontin, 2014; Rudge, 2012).

To assess the presence of otitis media and mastoiditis, the size of each mastoid air cell system X-rayed will be calculated, as is done clinically, and compared to a known “healthy” size obtained from the literature (from individuals with no history or previous evidence of otitis media or mastoiditis) (e.g., Bayramoğlu et al., 1997; Hug, 2000; Robinson et al., 1993; Sadé, 1992; Sadé and Fuchs, 1994; Qvarnberg 1982).

Those determined to sit on either side of “healthy” will be labeled as either “at risk/infected in childhood” (small air cells) or “chronically infected” (large air cells).

The presence of middle ear infection and that of other lesions indicative of respiratory infection (sinusitis and lesions on the medial surfaces of the ribs) will be assessed demographically and in relation to the Industrial Revolution using the open-source statistical software, R.

This is the first large-scale archaeological project to explore the diagnosis of middle ear infection in-depth and an ideal opportunity to benefit from decades of medical research.

Grants

Scholarships, Bursaries, Awards, and Honours

  • 2013 – 2014- University of Saskatchewan Master’s Scholarship
  • 2012 – 2013- Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Master’s Scholarship – Government of Canada
  • 2012 – 2013- Northern Scientific Training Program (NSTP) Funding – Government of Canada
  • 2012 – 2013- History Travel Award – History Department, University of Saskatchewan
  • 2012- Fr. Henry Carr Award – St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan
  • 2010; 2011- Dean’s List –  University of Saskatchewan
  • 2010; 2011- Leadership Award – St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan
Teaching activities
  • October 2020 - January 2021 - AAP685: Human Osteology - Teaching assistant, Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield, UK
  • October 2020 – January 2021 - AAP683: Human Anatomy – Teaching assistant, Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield, UK
  • April 8, 2019 – April 10, 2019; April 6, 2020 – April 8, 2020- Human Osteology Short Course- Instructor, Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield, UK
    • (2020 course later cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic)
  • October 2019 – December 2019; October 2020 – December 2020 - AAP685: Human Osteology – Teaching assistant, Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield, UK
  • January 11, 2018 – March 8, 2018- Bones: An Introduction to Human Osteology – Instructor, Saskatoon Seniors Continued Learning (SSCL) Non-Credit Courses for Seniors Program, SSCL Inc., Saskatoon, Canada.
  • September 2017 – December 2017; September 2016 – December 2016; September 2013 – December 2013- Archaeology 270: Human Evolution – Laboratory demonstrator, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
  • September 2016 – December 2016- Archaeology 470: Human Osteology – Instructor, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
  • September 2014- Archaeology 270: Human Evolution – Substitute instructor, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
  • January 2016 – May 2016- Archaeology 112: The Human Journey, Introduction to Archaeology and Biological Anthropology – Teaching assistant, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
  • September 2015 – December 2015- Archaeology 270: Human Evolution –Teaching assistant, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
  • September 2013 – December 2013; September 2011 – December 2011- Archaeology 470: Human Osteology – Teaching assistant, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
  • January 2012 – May 2012; January 2011 – May 2011- Archaeology 116: Introduction to Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology – Teaching assistant, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
Professional activities

Field Experience

  • Past Recovery Archaeological Services- Field technician – Maberly, Ontario, Canada (May 1, 2012 – August 20, 2012; May 9, 2011 – July 21, 2011; June 1, 2010 – August 20, 2010; April 10, 2018 –September 7, 2018). 

  • Mortuary Archaeology Field School- Student – Drawsko, Poland; Slavia Foundation and Adam Mickiewicz University (July 25–August 20, 2011).

  • Iklaina Archaeological Project- Student – Pylos, Greece; University of Missouri-St. Louis (May 29–June 18, 2009)

Volunteer and Outreach Experience

  • Realising Opportunities Virtual National Student Conference: Osteoarchaeology: Human Osteology in Archaeology - Presentation for Year 12s - Sheffield, England, UK (May 8, 2021).

  • Archaeology in the City’s Woodland Heritage Festival- Human Osteology booth – Sheffield, England, UK (May 12, 2019; May 25, 2020- event cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic).

  • HeppSY “Things You Can’t Do in School”: Bones and Burials: Human Osteology in Archaeology- Session for year 9s and 10s – Sheffield, England, UK (March 3, 2020). 

  • University of Sheffield Arts and Humanities Outreach “Princes in the Tower”: Osteoarchaeology: The Princes in the Tower- Session for year 10s – Sheffield, England, UK (February 6, 2020). 

  • Young Archaeologists’ Club “Archaeology and Science”: Bioarchaeology: Archaeology and Science with the Young Archaeologists’ Club- Session for members aged 8–16 years – Sheffield, England, UK (January 25, 2020). 

  • University of Sheffield Outreach and Widening Participation “DiscoverUS”: Skeletons: Human Osteology in Archaeology- Sessions for year 11s – Sheffield, England, UK (November 13, 2019). 

  • Archaeology and Anthropology Graduate Students’ Association (ARCHAIA)- President – University of Saskatchewan, Canada (2013–2014). 

  • University of Saskatchewan Graduate Students’ Association (GSA)- Member – University of Saskatchewan, Canada (2012–2014). 

  • St. Thomas More College Students’ Union (STMSU)- Student at Large and Caucus Leader to Faculty Council (April 2011–April 2012); Vice President Academic (April 2010–April 2011); Director of Publications (April 2009–April 2010); First Year Representative (January 2009–April 2009) –  St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan, Canada. 

  • House Peer Leader- St. Thomas More College – University of Saskatchewan, Canada, (2010–2012). 

Memberships

  • Founding member of the Bioarchaeology of Urbanisation Research Group
  • Member of the Bioarchaeology Respiratory Network
  • Member of the Baikal-Hokkaido Archaeology Project
  • Member of the Paleopathology Association
  • Member of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology 
Publications and Conferences

Publications

  • Angela R. Lieverse, Kathleen Faccia, Andrea L. Waters-Rist, Anastasia Antonova, Hamed Vahdati Nasab, Caroline Haverkort, Samantha L. Purchase-Manchester, Rick J. Schulting, Nour Moussa, Vladimir Ivanovich Bazaliiskii. In preparation. Chapter 5. Human Osteological Remains. In: Weber AW, Bazaliiskii VI, Jessup EL, Lieverse AR (editors). Shamanka II, an Early Neolithic Hunter-Gatherer Cemetery on Lake Baikal, Siberia: Archaeological and Osteological Materials. Northern Hunter-Gatherers Research Series, Vol. 7. Edmonton, AB: CCI Press.
  • Angela R. Lieverse, Kathleen Faccia, Andrea L. Waters-Rist, Brianna P. Mack, Samantha L. Purchase-Manchester, Rick J. Schulting, Nour Moussa. In preparation. Chapter 6. Demography, Health, and Activity at the Early Neolithic Cemetery of Shamanka II. In: Weber AW, Bazaliiskii VI, Jessup EL, Lieverse AR (editors). Shamanka II, an Early Neolithic Hunter-Gatherer Cemetery on Lake Baikal, Siberia: Archaeological and Osteological Materials. Northern Hunter-Gatherers Research Series, Vol. 7. Edmonton, AB: CCI Press.

  • Purchase, Samantha L. In press. Perspectives on Health: Working with Communities as Cultural Anthropologists and Bioarchaeologists. Engaged Scholar Journal

  • Purchase, Samantha L., Elizabeth Craig-Atkins, Pia Nystrom, and Jaydip Ray 2020. Visualising Mastoiditis with a Portable X-Ray System (Poster). 89th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA): Los Angeles, California, USA. 

  • Purchase, Samantha L., Elizabeth Craig-Atkins, Pia Nystrom, and Jaydip Ray 2019. Visualising Mastoiditis with a Portable X-Ray System: A Preliminary Analysis (Poster). 21st Annual Meeting of the British Association of Biological Archaeology and Osteoarchaeology (BABAO): London, England, UK. 

  • Purchase, Samantha L., Vladimir I. Bazaliiskii, and Angela R. Lieverse 2019. An innovative method to visualise mastoiditis using a hand-held X-ray system. International Journal of Paleopathology 26: 22–26.

  • Purchase, Samantha L., Angela R. Lieverse, Vladimir I. Bazaliiskii, and Andrzej W. Weber 2017. A Novel Examination of Upper Respiratory Infection in Hunter-Fisher-Gatherers of the Middle Holocene, Cis-Baikal, Russian Federation (Poster). 44th Annual Meeting of the Paleopathology Association (PPA): New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

  • Purchase, Samantha L., Angela R. Lieverse, Vladimir I. Bazaliiskii, and Andrzej W. Weber  2014. Culture change and the relationships between infection and stress in the middle Holocene Cis-Baikal (Abstract). American Journal of Physical Anthropology 153(S58): 212–213. 

  • Purchase, Samantha L., Angela R. Lieverse, Vladimir I. Bazaliiskii, and Andrzej W. Weber 2014. Culture change and the relationships between infection and stress in the middle Holocene Cis-Baikal (Poster). 83rd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA): Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

  • Purchase, Samantha L., Angela R. Lieverse, Vladimir I. Bazaliiskii, and Andrzej W. Weber  2014. Infectious Disease and Physiological Stress in the Middle Holocene Cis-Baikal (Abstract). Canadian Association of Physical Anthropology Newsletter 2014(1): 17–18.

Reviews

  • International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. Web of Science Researcher ID: AAB-7971-2019

Talks

  • Society of American Archaeology (SAA) Conference talk A Novel Examination of Infection among Middle Holocene Hunter-Fisher-Gatherers of the Cis-Baikal, Siberia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (March 29–April 2, 2017).
  • Baikal-Hokkaido Archaeology Project (BHAP) Workshop talk: Infectious disease as an indicator of physiological stress in the middle Holocene Cis-Baikal, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (May 5–7, 2014). 
  • Anthropology, Physical Anthropology, Linguistics, and Archaeology (APALA) Conference talk: Whom it May Concern: The Theoretical Determination of Ideology from Mortuary Data with Specific Reference to the Cis-Baikal, Russian Federation, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (January 19, 2013). 
  • Saskatoon Archaeological Society (SAS) Meeting talks: Non-specific Infection and Physiological Stress in Middle Holocene Cis-Baikal, Siberia: A Preliminary Analysis (November 15, 2013); Kylikes and Clavicles: Bronze Age Greece and Post-Medieval Poland (February 17, 2012); Archaeology in Eastern Canada (January 21, 2011); Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.