A paleopathological analysis of juveniles from Thebes: Childhood health in Byzantine Greece
MetadataShow full item record
Limited publications address juvenile health in Byzantine Thebes, Greece. As vulnerable and abundant members of most populations, children are essential to understanding the health experiences of past populations. This thesis examines juvenile skeletal material recovered from a Byzantine period cemetery (5th-9th centuries CE) located on Ismenion Hill in Thebes, Greece. This site is located adjacent to the early Christian church of St. Luke the Evangelist. In antiquity, St. Luke was traditionally considered to be a physician. Previous analyses of the adult skeletal sample revealed a high prevalence of leprosy, cancer, and infection, leading researchers to hypothesize a relationship between the cemetery and the church of the physician saint. This thesis investigates this hypothesis with respect to the juveniles recovered at this site. Eleven graves were studied and a minimum of 59 juvenile individuals were identified. Perinates (n=15), infants (n=9), and young juveniles (n=25) make up the majority of the sample, followed by older juveniles (n=8) and adolescents (n=2). Overall, 16 (27%) juveniles present with dental and/or skeletal pathologies. Through the process of differential diagnosis, infection, metabolic conditions, and hematopoietic disorders were found to dominate the sample. To understand why children were brought to and buried at Ismenion Hill, cultural, social, and environmental factors shaping childhood health in late antiquity are addressed.
Cite this version of the work
Evengeline Sephia Strickland (2024). A paleopathological analysis of juveniles from Thebes: Childhood health in Byzantine Greece. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/20233