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Publication Date: 2006
Publisher: Oxbow Books, Limited
Brickley, Megan, Buteux, Simon, Adams, Josephine
The archaeological excavations at St Martin's churchyard, Birmingham, uncovered 857 burials dating to the late 18th and the 19th century. The burials represent a cross-section of Birmingham's population during the period of the Industrial Revolution. Detailed anthropological analysis was carried out on a sample of 505 of the skeletons, investigating aspects of demography and health. Compared to the modern British population, the analysis revealed a high prevalence of metabolic diseases, such as scurvy and rickets. The results of these and other pathological conditions reveal that there were very real links between the prevalence of diseases and the socio-economic status of the individuals under investigation. This is most striking in the patterns of various types of trauma, which graphically illustrate the hard lives led by working-class women. The investigations also provide insights into burial practices and funerary trade, and documentary research on named individuals from the vaults provides information on family histories that complements and informs the anthropological and archaeological analyses.Brickley, Megan is the author of 'St. Martin's Uncovered Investigations in the Churchyard of St. Martin's-in-the-bull-ring, Birmingham, 2001', published 2006 under ISBN 9781842172018 and ISBN 1842172018.