Macey, Jeannette F. (1996) Demography and disease of the Næstved Helligåndushus Collection : an A.D. 15th century cemetery population of the 'House of the Holy Spirit' in south-west Denmark. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
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Together with archaeological and historical information, demographic and palaeopathological investigations can provide valuable insights into aspects of the health and social background of the otherwise silent members of a past population. The Helligåndshus cemetery collection from Næstved is the only burial population of its kind which has been excavated in Denmark. Functioning as a charitable religious hospital during the late mediaeval and post-reformation periods, the Helligåndshus provided charity, healthcare and burials for poverty stricken and unfortunate members of society. The burial collection, consisting of 328 defined interments, provides a rare glimpse of the age and gender structure of the facility's clientele as well as the diseases which posed threats to their health and well-being. -- Although representing just a sector of society, the Helligåndhus burial population is comprised of individuals of all ages, from infancy to old age. Childhood mortality appears to have been high and life expectancy for adults was just 32.5 years on average. A slight gender bias may indicate a greater need for charity among females. -- Disease was not an uncommon phenomenon and over half of the burial population had suffered from one or more pathological condition. In accordance with the social background of the population, diseases of an occupational, nutritional and infectious nature were the most common while trauma, congenital disorders and neoplastic diseases were few. While poverty and disease placed their demands on the individual, the need for charity and heathcare made its demands on the greater charitable society of Næstved.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Additional Information:||Bibliography: leaves 341-354.|
|Department(s):||Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Anthropology|
|Library of Congress Subject Heading:||Paleopathology--Denmark--Næstved; Anthropometry--Denmark--Næstved; Ecavations (Archaeology)--Denmark--Næstved|
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