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Leprosy in Medieval Helsingborg: An Osteological Analysis of the St Clement Cemetery

Petersen, Maria LU (2018) ARKM23 20181
Historical Osteology
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of leprosy at the medieval
cemetery if the St Clement church in Helsingborg. The material was excavated during
1958-1962 by Margareta Weidhagen-Hallerdt, however the results from the excavation
was not published until 2010. New excavations were performed during the late 1980s
and the results from the osteological analysis, which was conducted by Caroline Arcini
(1999), showed that five individuals were infected with leprosy. This study investigates
however leprosy is present in the material from the 1958s excavation and if infected
individuals were buried close to the church as well as in the periphery. It is also
investigated however socioeconomic differences occurs between... (More)
The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of leprosy at the medieval
cemetery if the St Clement church in Helsingborg. The material was excavated during
1958-1962 by Margareta Weidhagen-Hallerdt, however the results from the excavation
was not published until 2010. New excavations were performed during the late 1980s
and the results from the osteological analysis, which was conducted by Caroline Arcini
(1999), showed that five individuals were infected with leprosy. This study investigates
however leprosy is present in the material from the 1958s excavation and if infected
individuals were buried close to the church as well as in the periphery. It is also
investigated however socioeconomic differences occurs between individuals that show
evidence of leprosy and those who don’t, which is reflected in stature, grave type and
grave topography. The results from this analysis showed that two adult individuals, one
male and one female, were infected with leprosy, and both individuals showed skeletal
changes in the rhinomaxillary area. The male, dated to the 13th century, was buried in an
earth grave in the periphery of the cemetery and was 3 cm shorter than the average
height among males. The female can be dated to either the 11th-12th century or the 13th
century and was buried in a grave with a carved sandstone next to the head. Her grave
was placed within 5 m from the church. We can, from this study, see that individuals
who were infected with leprosy could be buried in the periphery, as well as closer to the
church. It is suggested that leprosy did not necessarily affect social status in medieval
Helsingborg. Although, it is clear that leprosy affected individuals with both a higher
and a lower social status. (Less)
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author
Petersen, Maria LU
supervisor
organization
course
ARKM23 20181
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Osteology, Human Osteology, St Clement, Helsingborg, Medieval, Leprosy
language
English
id
8953484
date added to LUP
2018-07-03 13:16:00
date last changed
2018-07-03 13:16:00
@misc{8953484,
  abstract     = {The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of leprosy at the medieval
cemetery if the St Clement church in Helsingborg. The material was excavated during
1958-1962 by Margareta Weidhagen-Hallerdt, however the results from the excavation
was not published until 2010. New excavations were performed during the late 1980s
and the results from the osteological analysis, which was conducted by Caroline Arcini
(1999), showed that five individuals were infected with leprosy. This study investigates
however leprosy is present in the material from the 1958s excavation and if infected
individuals were buried close to the church as well as in the periphery. It is also
investigated however socioeconomic differences occurs between individuals that show
evidence of leprosy and those who don’t, which is reflected in stature, grave type and
grave topography. The results from this analysis showed that two adult individuals, one
male and one female, were infected with leprosy, and both individuals showed skeletal
changes in the rhinomaxillary area. The male, dated to the 13th century, was buried in an
earth grave in the periphery of the cemetery and was 3 cm shorter than the average
height among males. The female can be dated to either the 11th-12th century or the 13th
century and was buried in a grave with a carved sandstone next to the head. Her grave
was placed within 5 m from the church. We can, from this study, see that individuals
who were infected with leprosy could be buried in the periphery, as well as closer to the
church. It is suggested that leprosy did not necessarily affect social status in medieval
Helsingborg. Although, it is clear that leprosy affected individuals with both a higher
and a lower social status.},
  author       = {Petersen, Maria},
  keyword      = {Osteology,Human Osteology,St Clement,Helsingborg,Medieval,Leprosy},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Leprosy in Medieval Helsingborg: An Osteological Analysis of the St Clement Cemetery},
  year         = {2018},
}