What this skeleton told us: Evidence
An older man and 172 cm in height (5 feet 8 inches). Tooth decay and a lot of dental plaque are present in/on the teeth, as well as some thinning of the enamel (enamel defects, or hypoplasia), evidence for tooth loss during life, and gum disease. There are broken rib (fractures) on the left side of the rib cage, which are well healed. Degenerative joint disease is present in the vertebrae of the neck.
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 average height for the period. This indicates 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 poor for this man. He had extensive gum disease, had lost teeth, and would have likely had bad breath. His enamel hypoplasia illustrates that in childhood he had a deficient diet or disease, and tooth decay suggests sugar in his diet. Healed rib fractures indicate a past fall or blow to the chest. The degeneration in the vertebra of this neck might have caused him pain and stiffness.
Swallows (birds). Swan; swan and Spearwa; sparrow.