Publications by authors named "Sarah Inskip"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Medieval injuries: Skeletal trauma as an indicator of past living conditions and hazard risk in Cambridge, England.

Am J Phys Anthropol 2021 Jan 25. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Objective: To explore how medieval living conditions, occupation, and an individual's role within society impacted their risk of skeletal trauma.

Materials: The skeletal remains of 314 individuals from medieval Cambridge that were buried in the parish cemetery of All Saints by the Castle (n = 84), the Augustinian friary (n = 75), and the cemetery of the Hospital of St John the Evangelist (n = 155) were analyzed.

Methods: Macroscopic examination and plain radiographs were used to classify fracture type. The causative mechanisms and forces applied to a bone were inferred based on fracture morphology.

Results: The skeletal trauma observed represents accidental injuries, likely sustained through occupational or everyday activities, and violence. The highest prevalence rate was observed on the individuals buried at All Saints by the Castle (44%, n = 37/84), and the lowest was seen at the Hospital of St John (27%, n = 42/155). Fractures were more prevalent in males (40%, n = 57/143) than females (26%, n = 25/95).

Conclusions: Skeletal trauma was highest in All Saints parish burial ground, indicating that the poor, whether working urban or rurally, had the highest risk of injury. The pattern and types of fractures observed suggests that males experienced more severe traumatic events than females. However, females that were routinely involved in manual labor were also at increased risk of injury.

Significance: This article enhances our understanding of how traumatic injuries differed by age, sex, and burial locations in the medieval period.

Further Research: Additional comparative studies in different geographical regions are needed to determine how representative these findings are.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.24225DOI Listing
January 2021

Ancient Bacterial Genomes Reveal a High Diversity of Treponema pallidum Strains in Early Modern Europe.

Curr Biol 2020 Oct 13;30(19):3788-3803.e10. Epub 2020 Aug 13.

Institute of Evolutionary Medicine, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland; Institute for Archaeological Sciences, University of Tübingen, Rümelinstrasse 19-23, 72070 Tübingen, Germany; Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment (S-HEP), University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany. Electronic address:

Syphilis is a globally re-emerging disease, which has marked European history with a devastating epidemic at the end of the 15 century. Together with non-venereal treponemal diseases, like bejel and yaws, which are found today in subtropical and tropical regions, it currently poses a substantial health threat worldwide. The origins and spread of treponemal diseases remain unresolved, including syphilis' potential introduction into Europe from the Americas. Here, we present the first genetic data from archaeological human remains reflecting a high diversity of Treponema pallidum in early modern Europe. Our study demonstrates that a variety of strains related to both venereal syphilis and yaws-causing T. pallidum subspecies were already present in Northern Europe in the early modern period. We also discovered a previously unknown T. pallidum lineage recovered as a sister group to yaws- and bejel-causing lineages. These findings imply a more complex pattern of geographical distribution and etiology of early treponemal epidemics than previously understood.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.07.058DOI Listing
October 2020

Intrapopulation variation in lower limb trabecular architecture.

Am J Phys Anthropol 2020 09 11;173(1):112-129. Epub 2020 Apr 11.

University of Cambridge, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge, UK.

Objectives: Trabecular structure is frequently used to differentiate between highly divergent mechanical environments. Less is known regarding the response of the structural properties to more subtle behavioral differences, as the range of intrapopulation variation in trabecular architecture is rarely studied. Examining the extent to which lower limb trabecular architecture varies when inferred mobility levels and environment are consistent between groups within a relatively homogenous population may aid in the contextualization of interpopulation differences, improve detectability of sexual dimorphism in trabecular structure, and improve our understanding of trabecular bone functional adaptation.

Materials And Methods: The study sample was composed of adult individuals from three high/late medieval cemeteries from Cambridge (10th-16th c.), a hospital (n = 57), a parish cemetery (n = 44) and a friary (n = 14). Trabecular architecture was quantified in the epiphyses of the femur and tibia, using high resolution computed tomography.

Results: The parish individuals had the lowest bone volume fraction and trabecular thickness in most regions. Multiple sex differences were observed, but the patterns were not consistent across volumes of interest.

Discussion: Differences between the three groups highlight the great variability of trabecular bone architecture, even within a single sedentary population. This indicates that trabecular bone may be used in interpreting subtle behavioral differences, and suggests that multiple archaeological sites need to be studied to characterize structural variation on a population level. Variation in sex and group differences across anatomical locations further demonstrates the site-specificity in trabecular bone functional adaptation, which might explain why little consistent sexual dimorphism has been reported previously.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.24058DOI Listing
September 2020

Phylogeography of the second plague pandemic revealed through analysis of historical Yersinia pestis genomes.

Nat Commun 2019 10 2;10(1):4470. Epub 2019 Oct 2.

Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, 07745, Jena, Germany.

The second plague pandemic, caused by Yersinia pestis, devastated Europe and the nearby regions between the 14 and 18 centuries AD. Here we analyse human remains from ten European archaeological sites spanning this period and reconstruct 34 ancient Y. pestis genomes. Our data support an initial entry of the bacterium through eastern Europe, the absence of genetic diversity during the Black Death, and low within-outbreak diversity thereafter. Analysis of post-Black Death genomes shows the diversification of a Y. pestis lineage into multiple genetically distinct clades that may have given rise to more than one disease reservoir in, or close to, Europe. In addition, we show the loss of a genomic region that includes virulence-related genes in strains associated with late stages of the pandemic. The deletion was also identified in genomes connected with the first plague pandemic (541-750 AD), suggesting a comparable evolutionary trajectory of Y. pestis during both events.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12154-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6775055PMC
October 2019

East Anglian early Neolithic monument burial linked to contemporary Megaliths.

Ann Hum Biol 2019 Mar;46(2):145-149

a Estonian Biocentre, Institute of Genomics , University of Tartu , Tartu , Estonia.

In the fourth millennium BCE a cultural phenomenon of monumental burial structures spread along the Atlantic façade. Megalithic burials have been targeted for aDNA analyses, but a gap remains in East Anglia, where Neolithic structures were generally earthen or timber. An early Neolithic (3762-3648 cal. BCE) burial monument at the site of Trumpington Meadows, Cambridgeshire, UK, contained the partially articulated remains of at least three individuals. To determine whether this monument fits a pattern present in megalithic burials regarding sex bias, kinship, diet and relationship to modern populations, teeth and ribs were analysed for DNA and carbon and nitrogen isotopic values, respectively. Whole ancient genomes were sequenced from two individuals to a mean genomic coverage of 1.6 and 1.2X and genotypes imputed. Results show that they were brothers from a small population genetically and isotopically similar to previously published British Neolithic individuals, with a level of genome-wide homozygosity consistent with a small island population sourced from continental Europe, but bearing no signs of recent inbreeding. The first Neolithic whole genomes from a monumental burial in East Anglia confirm that this region was connected with the larger pattern of Neolithic megaliths in the British Isles and the Atlantic façade.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03014460.2019.1623912DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6816495PMC
March 2019

Ancient genomes from across Western Europe reveal early diversification during the First Pandemic (541-750).

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2019 06 4;116(25):12363-12372. Epub 2019 Jun 4.

Department of Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, 07745 Jena, Germany;

The first historically documented pandemic caused by began as the Justinianic Plague in 541 within the Roman Empire and continued as the so-called First Pandemic until 750. Although paleogenomic studies have previously identified the causative agent as , little is known about the bacterium's spread, diversity, and genetic history over the course of the pandemic. To elucidate the microevolution of the bacterium during this time period, we screened human remains from 21 sites in Austria, Britain, Germany, France, and Spain for DNA and reconstructed eight genomes. We present a methodological approach assessing single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in ancient bacterial genomes, facilitating qualitative analyses of low coverage genomes from a metagenomic background. Phylogenetic analysis on the eight reconstructed genomes reveals the existence of previously undocumented diversity during the sixth to eighth centuries, and provides evidence for the presence of multiple distinct strains in Europe. We offer genetic evidence for the presence of the Justinianic Plague in the British Isles, previously only hypothesized from ambiguous documentary accounts, as well as the parallel occurrence of multiple derived strains in central and southern France, Spain, and southern Germany. Four of the reported strains form a polytomy similar to others seen across the phylogeny, associated with the Second and Third Pandemics. We identified a deletion of a 45-kb genomic region in the most recent First Pandemic strains affecting two virulence factors, intriguingly overlapping with a deletion found in 17th- to 18th-century genomes of the Second Pandemic.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1820447116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6589673PMC
June 2019

Osteobiography: The History of the Body as Real Bottom-Line History.

Bioarchaeol Int 2019 ;3(1):16-31

Estonian Bioscience Centre, Tartu, Estonia.

What is osteobiography good for? The last generation of archaeologists fought to overcome the traditional assumption that archaeology is merely ancillary to history, a substitute to be used when written sources are defective; it is now widely acknowledged that material histories and textual histories tell equally valid and complementary stories about the past. Yet the traditional assumption hangs on implicitly in biography: osteobiography is used to fill the gaps in the textual record rather than as a primary source in its own right. In this article we compare the textual biographies and material biographies of two thirteenth-century townsfolk from medieval England-Robert Curteis, attested in legal records, and "Feature 958," excavated archaeologically and studied osteobiographically. As the former shows, textual biographies of ordinary people mostly reveal a few traces of financial or legal transactions. Interpreting these traces, in fact, implicitly presumes a history of the body. Osteobiography reveals a different kind of history, the history of the body as a locus of appearance and social identity, work, health and experience. For all but a few textually rich individuals, osteobiography provides a fuller and more human biography. Moreover, textual visibility is deeply biased by class and gender; osteobiography offers particular promise for Marxist and feminist understandings of the past.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/bi.2019.1006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7250652PMC
January 2019

Evaluating macroscopic sex estimation methods using genetically sexed archaeological material: The medieval skeletal collection from St John's Divinity School, Cambridge.

Am J Phys Anthropol 2019 02 21;168(2):340-351. Epub 2018 Dec 21.

McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Objectives: In tests on known individuals macroscopic sex estimation has between 70% and 98% accuracy. However, materials used to create and test these methods are overwhelming modern. As sexual dimorphism is dependent on multiple factors, it is unclear whether macroscopic methods have similar success on earlier materials, which differ in lifestyle and nutrition. This research aims to assess the accuracy of commonly used traits by comparing macroscopic sex estimates to genetic sex in medieval English material.

Materials And Methods: Sixty-six individuals from the 13th to 16th century Hospital of St John the Evangelist, Cambridge, were assessed. Genetic sex was determined using a shotgun approach. Eighteen skeletal traits were examined, and macroscopic sex estimates were derived from the os coxae, skull, and os coxae and skull combined. Each trait was tested for accuracy to explore sex estimates errors.

Results: The combined estimate (97.7%) outperformed the os coxae only estimate (95.7%), which outperformed the skull only estimate (90.4%). Accuracy rates for individual traits varied: Phenice traits were most accurate, whereas supraorbital margins, frontal bossing, and gonial flaring were least accurate. The preauricular sulcus and arc compose showed a bias in accuracy between sexes.

Discussion: Macroscopic sex estimates are accurate when applied to medieval material from Cambridge. However, low trait accuracy rates may relate to differences in dimorphism between the method derivative sample and the St John's collection. Given the sex bias, the preauricular sulcus, frontal bossing, and arc compose should be reconsidered as appropriate traits for sex estimation for this group.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23753DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6492084PMC
February 2019

Ancient genomes reveal a high diversity of Mycobacterium leprae in medieval Europe.

PLoS Pathog 2018 05 10;14(5):e1006997. Epub 2018 May 10.

Institute for Archaeological Sciences, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.

Studying ancient DNA allows us to retrace the evolutionary history of human pathogens, such as Mycobacterium leprae, the main causative agent of leprosy. Leprosy is one of the oldest recorded and most stigmatizing diseases in human history. The disease was prevalent in Europe until the 16th century and is still endemic in many countries with over 200,000 new cases reported annually. Previous worldwide studies on modern and European medieval M. leprae genomes revealed that they cluster into several distinct branches of which two were present in medieval Northwestern Europe. In this study, we analyzed 10 new medieval M. leprae genomes including the so far oldest M. leprae genome from one of the earliest known cases of leprosy in the United Kingdom-a skeleton from the Great Chesterford cemetery with a calibrated age of 415-545 C.E. This dataset provides a genetic time transect of M. leprae diversity in Europe over the past 1500 years. We find M. leprae strains from four distinct branches to be present in the Early Medieval Period, and strains from three different branches were detected within a single cemetery from the High Medieval Period. Altogether these findings suggest a higher genetic diversity of M. leprae strains in medieval Europe at various time points than previously assumed. The resulting more complex picture of the past phylogeography of leprosy in Europe impacts current phylogeographical models of M. leprae dissemination. It suggests alternative models for the past spread of leprosy such as a wide spread prevalence of strains from different branches in Eurasia already in Antiquity or maybe even an origin in Western Eurasia. Furthermore, these results highlight how studying ancient M. leprae strains improves understanding the history of leprosy worldwide.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1006997DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5944922PMC
May 2018

Leprosy in pre-Norman Suffolk, UK: biomolecular and geochemical analysis of the woman from Hoxne.

J Med Microbiol 2017 Nov 6;66(11):1640-1649. Epub 2017 Oct 6.

Department of Microbial and Cellular Sciences, School of Biosciences and Medicine, University of Surrey, Guildford, GU2 7TE, UK.

Purpose: A woman's skull, exhibiting features of lepromatous leprosy (LL), was recovered from a garden in Hoxne, Suffolk. The absence of post crania and lack of formal excavation meant that diagnosis and dating was uncertain. The aim of this research was to confirm the diagnosis using biomolecular means and second, to place it in context with other British leprosy cases using SNP genotyping and radiocarbon dating.

Methodology: Bone from the skull was analysed by ancient DNA (aDNA) methods and subjected to radiocarbon dating. As a result, stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values were produced, both useful for assessing aspects of the woman's diet.Results/Key findings. aDNA confirmed the presence of mycobacterium leprae and genotyping demonstrated an ancestral variant of subtype 3I, the same lineage recently identified in living squirrels in the south of England. Radiocarbon dating revealed the woman lived approximately between 885-1015 AD, providing evidence for endurance of this subtype in East Anglia, having been previously identified as early as the fifth-sixth century (Great Chesterford) and as late as the thirteenth century (Ipswich).

Conclusions: The confirmation of a new pre-Norman leprosy case in East Anglia is of interest as this is where a high proportion of cases are located. Possible factors for this may include preservation and excavation biases, population density, but also connection and trade, possibly of fur, with the continent. Future research on other British LL cases should focus on exploring these aspects to advance understanding of the disease's history, here and on the continent.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/jmm.0.000606DOI Listing
November 2017

Osteological, biomolecular and geochemical examination of an early anglo-saxon case of lepromatous leprosy.

PLoS One 2015 13;10(5):e0124282. Epub 2015 May 13.

Department of Microbial and Cellular Sciences, School of Biosciences and Medicine, University of Surrey, Guildford, GU2 7TE, United Kingdom.

We have examined a 5th to 6th century inhumation from Great Chesterford, Essex, UK. The incomplete remains are those of a young male, aged around 21-35 years at death. The remains show osteological evidence of lepromatous leprosy (LL) and this was confirmed by lipid biomarker analysis and ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis, which provided evidence for both multi-copy and single copy loci from the Mycobacterium leprae genome. Genotyping showed the strain belonged to the 3I lineage, but the Great Chesterford isolate appeared to be ancestral to 3I strains found in later medieval cases in southern Britain and also continental Europe. While a number of contemporaneous cases exist, at present, this case of leprosy is the earliest radiocarbon dated case in Britain confirmed by both aDNA and lipid biomarkers. Importantly, Strontium and Oxygen isotope analysis suggest that the individual is likely to have originated from outside Britain. This potentially sheds light on the origins of the strain in Britain and its subsequent spread to other parts of the world, including the Americas where the 3I lineage of M. leprae is still found in some southern states of America.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0124282PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4430215PMC
February 2016