Papers And Reports

Medical History: Arthritis in Saxon and mediaeval skeletons

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 283 doi: (Published 19 December 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;283:1668
  1. Juliet Rogers,
  2. Iain Watt,
  3. Paul Dieppe


    Examination of 400 Saxon, Romano-British, and mediaeval skeletons from seven archaeological excavations in the west of England showed an unexpectedly high incidence of osteoarthritis and osteophytosis. Three skeletons had evidence of an erosive peripheral arthritis—one with probable gout, one probable psoriatic arthropathy, and one with possible rheumatoid arthritis. The pattern and types of rheumatic disease, and the resultant disability, were apparently different. An exuberant form of large joint osteoarthritis was common and rheumatoid arthritis and similar diseases rare.