2023 Undergraduate Research Showcase


Socioeconomic Status and Female Health in Medieval London

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Cheryl Anderson


This research investigates the connections between health, sex, and socioeconomic status (SES) during the medieval period. Female health indicators potentially related to nutrition and/or disease from three medieval cemeteries of differing SES in the greater London area were examined. Differences in health indicators related to childhood stress were not significant and average stature was similar across all three sites. Differences in stress indicators potentially related to anemia were significant (p=0.04), with St. Mary Spital (lower status) having the highest prevalence (21.2%). However, St. Mary Graces (lower status) and Merton Priory (higher status) have very similar frequencies (11.3% and 11.8% respectively). These results may indicate that medieval females experienced similar diets and/or similar environmental risk factors regardless of SES as the females from Merton Priory did not appear to have lower frequencies of pathologies or higher average stature compared to the two lower status sites, especially St. Mary Graces.

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