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Thread: Battered Skeleton of Norman Knight Found in England

  1. #1
    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    Battered Skeleton of Norman Knight Found in England

    The battered skeleton of a knight was found in the UK:
    http://news.discovery.com/history/ar...ral-150414.htm

    The skeleton is described as that of a 5-foot-8-inch (1.7 meters) man with serious trauma on his right shoulder blade, 10 of his right ribs and left leg."

    "The man was about 45 years or older when he died, according to a bone analysis. He was buried in a stone-lined grave, a type of grave that was used between the 12th and 14th centuries, the researchers said.


    Four of the man's ribs showed healed fractures that may have occurred simultaneously, suggesting a single instance of trauma, researchers wrote in the pathology report. Another four ribs were in the process of healing, indicating that the man was still recovering from the injuries when he died. The other two damaged ribs also show evidence of trauma, and his left lower leg has an unusual twisting break, one that could have been caused by a direct blow or a rolled ankle, according to the report."


    "A chemical analysis of his other teeth that matched different isotopes (a variation of an element) to foods and water samples from different geological locations showed that the man likely grew up in Normandy and moved to Hereford later in life, Boucher said."

    Nothing was said about doing a Dna analysis. Given the type of life he obviously led, it's amazing that he lived to be 45.

    I also found the burial of a leper in that cemetery in Hereford interesting. The authors speculate he may have been buried there rather than in a separate area for lepers, as would have been usual, because the Bishop also suffered from it and may have had some sympathy for him.

    I always associate leprosy with warmer climates, but obviously it's not always the case.
    "


    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

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    Elite member hope's Avatar
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    I thought he may have gotten his injuries through battle, now I see they are speculating, because they were caused by blunt instruments, that he probably got them via jousting. I think I would have given up after the first set of broken ribs..
    I wonder regarding the story behind the woman with a hand missing ?
    Missed this story, so good find..:)

  3. #3
    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hope View Post
    I thought he may have gotten his injuries through battle, now I see they are speculating, because they were caused by blunt instruments, that he probably got them via jousting. I think I would have given up after the first set of broken ribs..
    I wonder regarding the story behind the woman with a hand missing ?
    Missed this story, so good find..:)
    My first thought was that it was chopped off for theft, or was that only in Biblical times? You can see my mind often goes to scenarios involving crime and punishment. :)

    I'm sure there's any number of ways that a hand could get so damaged that it would have to be cut off, however. Perhaps it was crushed by an animal or a fall or got gangrenous from an unhealed cut.

    Skeletons from prior time periods were in general more "battered" than modern ones, and show more evidence of disease, including malnutrition. There was a recent story about tuberculosis found in Hungarian remains from two hundred years ago.
    http://www.archaeology.org/news/3185...europe-mummies

    "Fourteen tuberculosis genomes were detected in eight naturally mummified bodies from a 200-year-old Hungarian crypt. “Microbiological analyses of samples from contemporary TB patients usually report a single strain of tuberculosis per patient. By contrast, five of the eight bodies in our study yielded more than one type of tuberculosis—remarkably from one individual we obtained evidence of three distinct strains,”

    I sort of keep up with the research into tuberculosis in the past, because it ravaged my mother's family in the seventeen and eighteen hundreds. It was still showing up in the 1900s in fact. They must have had very little resistance to it, a susceptibility which I seem to share if 23andme is correct.

    The discovery and mass use of antibiotics has had an almost incalculable effect on human experience.

  4. #4
    Elite member hope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    My first thought was that it was chopped off for theft, or was that only in Biblical times? You can see my mind often goes to scenarios involving crime and punishment. :)

    I'm sure there's any number of ways that a hand could get so damaged that it would have to be cut off, however. Perhaps it was crushed by an animal or a fall or got gangrenous from an unhealed cut.

    Skeletons from prior time periods were in general more "battered" than modern ones, and show more evidence of disease, including malnutrition. There was a recent story about tuberculosis found in Hungarian remains from two hundred years ago.
    http://www.archaeology.org/news/3185...europe-mummies

    "Fourteen tuberculosis genomes were detected in eight naturally mummified bodies from a 200-year-old Hungarian crypt. “Microbiological analyses of samples from contemporary TB patients usually report a single strain of tuberculosis per patient. By contrast, five of the eight bodies in our study yielded more than one type of tuberculosis—remarkably from one individual we obtained evidence of three distinct strains,”

    I sort of keep up with the research into tuberculosis in the past, because it ravaged my mother's family in the seventeen and eighteen hundreds. It was still showing up in the 1900s in fact. They must have had very little resistance to it, a susceptibility which I seem to share if 23andme is correct.

    The discovery and mass use of antibiotics has had an almost incalculable effect on human experience.
    Well I know the chopping off of the right hand was the punishment for some types of theft, especially poaching, not sure if this applied to women. Then they became a little lenient and only chopped off the paw of any dog the poacher might have with him...
    I know they used different types of maiming for various crimes. I have a list but it`s not pleasant reading so I may not post it. However, a person who had a limb missing fell under such suspicion that in some instances, they would carry a letter to say their injury had come about naturally and not as result of crime.
    Here are two examples from the Patent Rolls.

    Mar 30 1324
    Notification, lest sinister suspicion should arise hereafter, that the defect which William Sampson suffers in his right ear arose from the stroke of a tun of wine as he was walking amongst the tuns on board a ship to see that no harm came to them, as the king is informed on sufficient evidence.


    Nov 20 1313
    Notification for the security of Mariota de Karliolo, and to relieve her from sinister suspicion touching the loss of her ear, that she whilst in the army of Edward I in Scotland, passing between the carts of that army, stumbled and fell, and that a carter accidentally cut off her right ear with his cart which he was leading. By testimony of Hugh le Despenser.

    I wonder regarding these...either they were very clumsy regarding their ears in medieval times, or perhaps a few shillings could be earned writing out letters to this effect. [ One method of punishment was to be nailed by the ear to the pillory...]

    TB is a terrible disease Angela, I don`t envy you having such intimate concern regarding it.

    Figures across the U.K. and also right here in N.I. have been rising year by year. I read there was a rise of 31% last year alone.

  5. #5
    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    I've always been the bookish sort, and people dropped like flies from tuberculosis in the Victorian literature I loved. I quite romanticized it...wasting away elegantly on a divan like the Dame aux Camellias with an embroidered white handkerchief in my hand. The reality is very different.

    My mother was paranoid about it, because not only did her family have a history of "weakness in the lungs" as she put it, but it was rampant in Italy during and after the war...all over the continent, I think. Every time I had a cough I got hauled off to the doctor. Are you familiar with zabaglione? It's made with egg yolks, sugar, sometimes marsala wine, and you can add hot milk or coffee and serve it in a cup. I was force fed it every morning for breakfast to "build me up" because I was painfully thin and I wouldn't normally touch eggs...I still hate their smell. It makes me smile when I see people ordering it for dessert on top of berries or something. I rarely have it...you can get too much of even a good thing.

    http://scontent-b.cdninstagram.com/h...16976254_a.jpg
    http://www.itemplaridelgusto.it/wp-c...8/zabaione.jpg

    It's very true though that you can have the bacterium in your lungs for years, and it's only when you suffer nutritionally or are somehow compromised that you actually develop the disease. That's why you have to have the patch test before taking certain immuno-suppressant drugs.

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    Our surname originated in Normandy and it said that there were soldiers who came with William to Hastings in 1066.

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