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Palaeoepidemiological study of the post-medieval Gloucester 13/83 Skeletal Assemblage.

Martin, SE (2018) Palaeoepidemiological study of the post-medieval Gloucester 13/83 Skeletal Assemblage. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

This thesis carries out a palaeoepidemiological study examining the representation of pathological conditions from an 18th-19th Century Gloucester skeletal collection (13/83). This skeletal assemblage contains 82 individuals, including 37 burials from a non-parochial church (Southgate Congregational Church) and 45 burials from Gloucester Infirmary (GI). Biological profiling was carried out to determine sex, estimate age-at-death and stature of individuals to aid in palaeoepidemiological study. This information was compared to the biological information obtained from the 1784-1837 burial register of Southgate Congregational Church (SCC). Significant differences were identified between the known age at death of the individual in the register and the age estimations of the church burials. This may be due to age bias in techniques applied in biological anthropology specifically as there is difficulty in ageing adults over 50 years. There was a significant difference in the numbers of adult males and females between SCC and GI cemeteries. There was also a significant difference age-at-death estimation between the SCC and GI. The high representation of subadults within the church cemetery compared to the Infirmary may contribute to this. Therefore different cemetery organisation is indicated by these results. Pathologies were categorised into groups for analysis, these were dental and skeletal pathologies (Trauma, congenital, joint, infectious, metabolic and neoplastic conditions). The frequencies of dental and skeletal pathologies were higher in Gloucester Infirmary. However, this was only found to be statistically significant in the dental and traumatic conditions. This was expected due to individuals within Gloucester Infirmary receiving treatment prior to death and suffering general poorer health than individuals from Southgate Congregational Church. Metabolic and neoplastic conditions were found in similar frequencies indicating that these conditions affected the individuals of Gloucester equally. Trends showed increased risk of infectious and metabolic conditions compared to earlier populations. Joint conditions were the most common group of skeletal conditions recorded in the 13/83 skeletal assemblage. The 18th-19th century saw great social economic changes within Britain. This was the also that case in Gloucester, although skeletal analysis indicated that this was less extreme than in larger cities. Access to universal health care and control of infectious disease within the modern population has led to longer life expectancies and therefore different disease prevalence with such as increases in cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes mellitus, and secondary pathologies. These increases are predicted to continue with the emergence of new and old infectious conditions arising as a result of antibiotic resistance and global pandemics.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Palaeoepidemiology; Palaeopathology; Post-medieval; Gloucester; Hospital; Non-Conformist Church
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Date Deposited: 15 May 2018 09:12
Last Modified: 15 May 2018 09:13
DOI or Identification number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00008523
Supervisors: Eliopoulos, C, De Groote, I and Irish, J
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8523

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