Publication Date

April 2017

Advisor(s)

Douglas Charles

Major

Archaeology

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

In the summer of 2016, archaeological excavation by the Wesleyan-Brown MonArch team unearthed the skeletal remains of three individuals at two separate medieval monasteries in Northern France. Without a population to study, what paleopathological conclusions could be drawn about these three people? This thesis addresses this question in multiple ways. First, histories of paleopathology and archaeological theory are explored. Then, common paleopathologies of medieval Europe are discussed, the excavation is described, and the skeletal remains are analyzed. Finally, a new hybridized theoretical approach is proposed to interpret the three excavated individuals. Inspired by phenomenology, this new framework combines differential diagnoses, information from extant medical texts, and the idea of a shared human experience to understand the human disease experience in medieval Europe.

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