Source/Archive record SYO1922 - Osteological Analysis Dixon Lane and George Street

Title Osteological Analysis Dixon Lane and George Street
Author/Originator
Date/Year 2012

Abstract/Summary

In May 2012 York Osteoarchaeology Ltd was commissioned by the York Archaeological Trust for Excavation and Research Ltd to carry out the osteological analysis of a single inhumed skeleton that had been excavated from land at the junction of Dixon Lane and George Street. The skeleton is one of 117 skeletons and charnel thought to have been associated with the medieval church of St Stephen’s that were excavated between in 2005 and 2006 at the site prior to re-development of the site. Osteological analysis found that the skeleton was in an excellent condition and 85% complete. The skeleton was female, aged 46 years old or older. The individual had suffered from probable leprosy, leading to resorption of the nasal area and maxilla, as well as periosteal reactions (inflammatory lesions) of the maxilla. She also had periosteal reactions that are commonly associated with leprosy on the lower legs, but these are non-specific inflammatory lesions and could have had other causes. Concentric atrophy (wasting) was noted on the intermediate hand phalanges (middle part of the finger digits), which may also have been a result of the infection and grooves on the left hand suggested that her fourth and fifth digit suffered from contracted flexion as a result of the disease. There were numerous minor developmental anomalies in her spine, including unusually shaped vertebral bodies and differently sized left and right parts of the vertebrae. Additional to this, six vertebral compression fractures were observed. Another, probably traumatic pathology was non-fusion of part of the right scapula, termed os acromiale. Mild degenerative disease was noted in the lower jaw, left shoulder, right hip, left big toe and most of her spine, with osteoarthritis affecting two vertebrae of the neck. The individual had also suffered from chronic sinusitis. Her dental health was relatively good, with one cavity, ante-mortem loss of one tooth, two abscesses, mild periodontal disease and limited dental wear. However, the individual had widespread, often heavy dental plaque concretions on the teeth, which were much more prevalent than the medieval average.

Referenced Monuments (2)

  • Pre and post-Conquest cemetery (Monument)
  • St Stephen Fishergate (Monument)

Referenced Events (1)

  • Dixon's Land and George St (Ref: YORYM: 2005.3203)

Record last edited

Dec 11 2018 12:10PM

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