The Oldest Diseases of World Quiz
by Staff
While most of us want to know what our daily life would look like in ancient times, a few of us also can't help but wonder what our death would look like too.

What is the study of ancient diseases called?

  • paleopathology
  • anthropathology
  • paleopolity

How do paleopathologists primarily study ancient diseases?

  • bacteria
  • tissue
  • skeletons

As Hannibal's army marched through the Alps, what ancient disease might've infected more and more troops as downstream water become more and more infected?

  • malaria
  • cholera
  • the flu

What disease appears to be the oldest human-specific infection?

  • caries
  • malaria
  • leprosy

What is the oldest case of leprosy paleopathologists have found?

  • 2,000 years old
  • 4,000 years old
  • 3,000 years old


  • is extremely contagious
  • causes limbs to fall off
  • has a very long incubation time

What can leprosy look like?

  • snake skin
  • psoriasis
  • black and blue bruises

What disease decimated the population of Athens around 430 B.CE.?

  • typhoid
  • HIV
  • dengue

What is the actual bacterium that causes typhoid?

  • clostridium difficile
  • E coli
  • Salmonella enterica

Chicken pox was seen in ancient civilizations, but was often confused for what?

  • eczema
  • acne
  • smallpox

Where do some scholars think smallpox got its start?

  • the indigenous population of what is know Oklahoma
  • Spain
  • Mesopotamia

How many deaths is smallpox responsible for in the 20th century alone?

  • 1 million
  • 300-500 million
  • 100 million

In 2300 B.C.E., there are records of fining dog owners for their animals spreading what disease?

  • lice
  • scabies
  • rabies

Bats are now a common carrier of rabies in the United States.

  • TRUE
  • only in the South

What has been responsible for half of all human deaths since the Stone Age?

  • smallpox
  • the malaria parasite
  • typhoid

Pharaoh Ramses V died in 1156 B.C.E. What ancient disease does his body show signs of?

  • HIV
  • smallpox
  • leprosy

Romans thought malaria was caused by what?

  • Greeks
  • pride
  • bad smells

What ancient disease is the most common lethal hospital-acquired infection?

  • MRSA
  • staph
  • pneumonia

9,000-year-old bones off the coast of Israel confirm DNA of what ancient disease?

  • pneumonia
  • tuberculosis
  • c. diff

Where did the first evidence of trachoma appear?

  • Australia
  • Iraq
  • South Africa

The first edition of "Encyclopedia Britannica" claims tuberculosis was known to be found in:

  • pale people
  • funny people
  • both

The first edition of "Encyclopedia Britannica" also recommends what treatment for smallpox?

  • antibiotics
  • enemas
  • prayer

What ancient disease still kills a million people a year?

  • dengue
  • malaria
  • yellow fever

Malaria may have killed what monarch?

  • King Tut
  • Henry V
  • Old King Cole

What does trachoma cause?

  • paralysis
  • blindness
  • inflammation

The value of smallpox inoculation (ie: contracting a mild form of the disease to guard against a more serious infection) was first observed where?

  • United States
  • India
  • Asia

Yersinia pestis is the bacterium responsible for what very old disease?

  • plague
  • rabies
  • scarlet fever

When was the first (definitive) epidemic outbreak of the plague?

  • 3000 B.C.E.
  • 6th century C.E.
  • 800 B.C.E.

Scarlet fever might have been referenced as early as the 3rd or 4th century B.C.E but when was its first confirmed description?

  • 300 C.E.
  • 1200 C.E.
  • 1553 C.E.

What "disease of kings" was first recorded in 2640 B.C.E.?

  • glaucoma
  • gout
  • obesity