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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

Staff

Publication details for Professor Charlotte Roberts

Grauer, A. & Roberts, C. A. (1996). Palaeoepidemiology, healing and possible treatment of trauma in the Medieval cemetery population of St. Helen-on-the-Walls, York, England. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 100(4): 531-544.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

Traumatic lesions are commonly found in the archeological record and have potential to provide insight into the lives of past populations. This paper examines patterns of long bone fractures in the British medieval population of St. Helen-on-the-Walls from York (approximately 1100–1550) in an effort to determine patterns of healing and evidence for treatment. Long bones were macroscopically and radiologically examined. Clinical data were used to assess whether a fracture had successfully or unsuccessfully healed. The results indicate that fractures of the radius and ulna were most common. Males displayed more fractures than women. Most fractures were healed, well aligned, and without substantial deformity. Lack of evidence for deformity in bones likely to be severely affected by fracture implied that immobilization and possibly reduction was practiced on even the poorest residents of the medieval city