What this skeleton told us: Evidence
An older woman and 169 cm tall (5 feet 7 inches). There is tooth decay, plaque, gum disease and dental crowding. There are also notches in her front teeth, and squatting facets on the shin bones (tibias), identified by the presence of small extensions to the joint surfaces at the bottom of the bones.
Interpretation of the evidence
In Anglo-Saxon Britain, if a woman survived childhood, she could be expected to live into middle-age, provided she maintained good health and did not die during pregnancy or childbirth. However, we should remember that humans are very good at adapting to challenging times! This woman was significantly above average height for the period, and died at a relatively good age, indicating that she was well-nourished and in good general health. Her tooth decay indicates sugar in her diet. The squatting facets suggest squatting for long periods of time and this might have been related to specific activities she was involved in, such as in farming. These are coupled with the notches in her incisor teeth that indicate the repeated holding of something between her teeth perhaps related to an activity like making baskets.
Native land, home, place.