Filming An Anthropological Perspective Ancient Diseases

From time to time we hear about the discovery of a mummified body or a pile of bones. This is met with great fanfare and excitement, as the remnants of the past can usually provide us with a wealth of information about life in ancient civilizations.

Anthropologists are the specialists whose job it is to analyze clues from gory findings such as these. They study all areas of human life, picking up clues about how people lived, their culture, opinions, lifestyle and interaction with their environment.

Anthropologists look at the bigger picture too; how humans have evolved and changes in society; linking these factors to compare human existence in the past with life today. Paleopathology is a specialism within anthropology. It is the study of ancient diseases in humans and animals. It uses modern science to unlock ancient secrets, for example, undertaking DNA analyses.

The findings of these specialist studies are interesting and important. They can sometimes provide key indicators from the past that can inform our thinking on the issues and challenges of the present day. As you can imagine this is quite some task!

Bringing Anthropology onto the Screen

Israel is full of archaeological and anthropological treasures; some of them revealed but many yet to be discovered. At Biblical Productions we are keen to develop ideas for future film productions and are regularly in touch with the Israel Antiquities Authority, who have been wonderfully supportive on a number of our productions in Israel; offering advice and supplying experts and information to help shoots run smoothly.

Biblical Productions spoke to Joe Zias from the Israel Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem. We learned so much about the fields of anthropology and Paleopathology and discussed a future film production he is planning.

Discoveries and Initial Questions

Joe Zias explained that human skeletal remains can be uncovered in any number of ways; some may be unearthed at archaeological excavations and are actively being sought; others may be recovered accidentally during general construction or road works; in these cases the findings are an unexpected and shocking discovery.

The recovery of the mummified bodies of ancient Egyptian Pharaohs over one hundred years ago, along with the recently discovered ‘Ice Man of Europe’, thrilled the world. They triggered a mass of interest and a constant stream of anthropological questions; What did they die of? What were the diseases they struggled against thousands of years ago? What can humankind learn today by studying the remains of those whom have preceded us?

Paleopathology as a Topic

While there have been some documentaries dealing with specific aspects of anthropology, until now no-one has produced a comprehensive documentary on Paleopathology as a specialism.

Spanning over two decades of scientific research and field work, the Israel Antiquities Authority, have selected some of their most interesting discoveries as material for a one hour documentary. The planned documentary will illustrate the various methodologies employed by the paleopathologist; from simple descriptive techniques to the more sophisticated use of DNA analysis. The planned documentary will demonstrate how paleopathology can address a wide range of questions far beyond the medical aspects of life. Information gleaned from paleopathologists can give us a range of details about the social and theological elements of humankind.

Medical Connections Between the Past, Present and Future

Joe Zias envisages the documentary as exploring how many of the disease processes that afflict humankind today have plagued us for millennia. As diseases spread in previous civilizations, a range of creative (if often futile) responses were developed to deal with the symptoms. Once an effective method of coping with a disease was discovered, it was often used for thousands of years. The film will examine the cures of the past and look at the knowledge we have gained from our ancestors. It will also consider the ways this knowledge has influenced today’s methods for fighting disease, as well as how they may inform the medical interventions of the future.

An Interesting Documentary

Although the subjects of anthropology and paleopathology initially sound a little dry and academic, Joe Zias really inspired us with his ideas and enthusiasm. Here at Biblical Productions we think his ideas and drive will result in an exceptional production; informing, entertaining and educating the audience.

Filming such a production in Israel will provide the documentary with a range of interesting and historic settings that complement the topic perfectly.

Filming in Israel

Biblical Productions is a leading company in the field of production services, based in Israel. We cover all areas of film and television production, including documentaries, feature films, commercials, music videos and promotional films.

Biblical Productions guides you during your shoot in Israel - from the pre-production planning to the post-production wrap. We arrange professional crews, fixers, permits, HD equipment rental, interviews, location scouting and more.

Biblical Productions also boasts a large collection of high-quality archival footage, making it a one-stop shop for all your production services in Israel. Please view our client list

‘Biblical Productions: The number once choice for production services in Israel.’
 

 

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