What this skeleton told us: Evidence
An older man with moderate preservation of his skeleton and 174 cm tall (5 feet 8 inches). The teeth show plaque, tooth decay and an infected tooth root, there was also evidence of tooth loss during life. The lower canine teeth are a little crowded in jaw. The upper jaw has an area of possible infection close to the nose area. The sinuses have new bone formation in them that may be associated with the infected tooth root. Squatting facets are present on the right shin bone (tibia), identified by the presence of a small extension to the joint surface at the bottom of the bone.
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 little above average height for the period and achieved average life expectancy, indicating that he was well-nourished and in good general health. However, we should remember that humans are very good at adapting to challenging times! 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 been in pain from his tooth decay and the dental infection. Tooth decay indicates sugar in his diet. The squatting facets suggest squatting for long periods of time and this might have been related to specific activities he was involved in, such as in farming.