What this skeleton told us: Evidence
An older man, but his age is uncertain due to poor skeletal preservation, and particularly the skull and upper spine. Osteoarthritis was present in the spine and also the left big toe bones. A fracture to the right forearm (radius bone) may be present but poor preservation makes this uncertain. The teeth are also in poor condition with tooth decay and infected tooth roots.
Interpretation of the evidence
The poor preservation of this skeleton prevented estimation of a more precise age for this man at the time of his death. However, his osteoarthritis suggests he was older. Like many of the Bowl Hole skeletons he had poor dental hygiene resulting in tooth decay and infected roots, both of which could have been painful, and could have resulted in bad breath. Tooth decay indicates sugar in his diet. His osteoarthritis might have been painful with loss of full movement and swelling of the joints.
The Seven: The Hebridean Man
St Aidan travelled to Bamburgh from Iona off the west coast of Scotland. This middle-aged man, who came from the Hebrides may have accompanied him.
To spread over, overshadow.