Sex-related risks of trauma in medieval to early modern Denmark, and its relationship to change in interpersonal violence over time

G. R. Milner, J. L. Boldsen, S. Weise, J. M. Lauritsen, U. H. Freund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Skeletons from three Danish cemeteries, Sortebrødre, Tirup, and St. Mikkel, that collectively held 822 adults (>15 years) and spanned the medieval to early modern periods (ca. AD 1100-1610) show that men, in general, experienced more bone fractures than women. Men were three times more likely to have healed cranial vault and ulnar shaft fractures than women, with many of these bones presumably broken in interpersonal violence. More women, however, broke distal radii, presumably often the result of falls. Both sexes suffered more cranial fractures than modern Danes, with the proportional difference for men and women being about the same. The difference in cranial trauma frequencies between historic-period and modern Danes has implications for a decline over the past several centuries in interpersonal violence that scholars in other disciplines have inferred from historical sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-68
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Paleopathology
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Archaeology

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