What this skeleton told us: Evidence
A young man around 23 to 25 years of age with a well-preserved skeleton and 178 cm tall (5 feet 10 inches). Dental plaque and thinning of enamel (enamel defects, or hypoplasia) are present along with a possible infected root of his right lower 3rd molar tooth. He may have had a break (fracture) to a bone in his right wrist, and there is evidence of a possible cyst (a fluid filled lump). Very robust muscle attachments on the bones suggest a strong individual who was very active. Some destruction of the right big toe bone suggests gout.
Interpretation of the evidence
In Anglo-Saxon Britain, it is likely that if a man survived childhood, he could expect to live a fairly long life, at least into middle-age, provided he maintained good health and was not killed in battle. This man was a robust individual of a little above average height for the period, well-nourished and in good general health, who had led a very active lifestyle. However, we should remember that humans are very good at adapting to challenging times! There are no skeletal clues to explain his early death. In common with many of the people buried at the Bowl Hole, dental hygiene appears to have been poor for this man. He could have had bad breath and may have had severe toothache from the infected root. His enamel hypoplasia illustrates that in childhood he had a deficient diet or disease. The damage to his big toe is typical of gout,, which is indicative of a rich diet (especially alcohol and red meat). He would likely have experienced sudden attacks of severe pain in his toe, and his toe would have been swollen and felt hot and very tender, to the point of being unable to bear anything touching it. The damage to his right wrist is probably indicative of an earlier fall, and he could have experienced pain in this joint.
The Seven: The Mediterranean Man
This 25-year old man may have earned his living in the royal court as a metal worker, using the skills he learnt back home in Italy or Spain.
Bold, obstinate. From Heard; hard and mōd mind.