Ancient human remains held in Portsmouth's museum archives are set to be DNA-tested for signs of tuberculosis.
Skeletons which have been dug up in the city during developments, some dating back to the Bronze Age, will now form a vital part of new research into TB.
Academics from Durham and Manchester universities have asked permission to remove bits of bone and teeth to analyse as part of their research project into how tuberculosis evolved through the ages.
The remains of two ancient city dwellers, one which is known to have suffered TB and one which did not, will be studied.
It is hoped their discoveries will lead to the formulation of new drugs to combat the disease, which is currently on the increase.
One of those cases where archaeology has some applicability to modern problems.