The individual has been named "Context 958" by researchers, who have pieced together details of the man's life based on an analysis of his bones and teeth, as well as estimating how he would have looked. Work on Context 958 is part of the wider After the Plague project underway led by the University of Cambridge in the UK, which is seeking to understand more about how people lived and died during this period of history.Posted by Jill Fallon at March 28, 2017 9:53 PM | Permalink
"Context 958 was probably an inmate of the Hospital of St John, a charitable institution which provided food and a place to live for a dozen or so indigent townspeople," says one of the team, John Robb. The hospital took in the sick, the poor, and the elderly, who couldn't manage to live on their own. Researchers have also inferred that the man was over 40 when he died, and toiled through a hard working life, based on the wear and tear of his skeleton....Based on an analysis of his skeleton, Context 958 had a diet relatively rich in meat and fish for someone who wasn't wealthy. This suggest his job – whatever it was – may have given him access to more 'expensive', fresh foods....The team also found signs that his tooth enamel had stopped growing during two periods in his youth, suggesting illness or famine.
The research is centered on a large graveyard excavation in Cambridge that consists of some 400 complete burials.
Unexplained is the manner of his burial: he was laid face down, which wasn't the norm for the medieval period.