What this skeleton told us: Evidence
An older man and 174 cm tall (5 feet 8 inches). There was substantial tooth loss during his life with complete healing over of the tooth sockets in the jaw bone. Some degenerative joint disease in the spine is seen with some fusion of vertebrae and loss of disk space. Osteoarthritis of the left wrist is also present. Squatting facets are present on the joints of the ends of both 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, 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 of above-average height for this period and died at a relatively advanced age, 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! In common with many of the people buried at the Bowl Hole, dental hygiene appears to have been a problem for this man. He probably bad breath and could have had pain before he lost his teeth (which were probably rotten). The joint degeneration in his spine might indicate a load-bearing activity, and he could have suffered from back pain. Osteoarthritis is to be expected in someone of his age, and his wrist might have been painful. 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.
Treasure giver or lord.