The majority of human pathology and disease is manifested only in soft tissues (see Martin et al. 1985), since with many diseases the host dies before the bone can be impacted by a pathogen. As a result, the identification of disease from skeletal remains is limited (at least with current methods, but see Smith and Wilson  and Tuross ). Thus, the recovery and analysis of preserved human soft tissue is a relatively rare opportunity that can provide a great deal of information currently unavailable from the analysis of skeletal remains alone.
The importance of beeweed to Anasazi diet, as well as cultivated corn, beans, and squash, was indicated in an early pollen analysis of Hoy House paleofeces (Scott 1979). Avenues of more recent paleofecal research are very broad. One arena focuses on pollen analysis, including the interpretation of pollen concentration values in paleofeces (Sobolik 1988a,b) and the identification of medicinal plant use (Reinhard et al. 1991; Sobolik and Gerick 1992). Pollen concentration values help determine which pollen types were intentionally ingested and how long pollen resides in the digestive tract before deposition.
Another histological approach is the study of the skeletal intermediary organization (IO) of bone between the level of the cell (osteon) and the organ (the bone structure) (Stout 1989:41). , pathology], repair, and homeostasis” (Stout 1989:41), and an understanding of the IO may permit the inference of a variety of factors, including disease, nutrition, and mechanical usage (Frost 1985:211; also see Marchi et al. 2006). It may also be possible to use bone histology to identify the species of origin of bone (Davenport and Ruddell 1995; Martiniaková et al.