Suffering the Great Hunger: Scurvy and tuberculosis as reflected in the skeletons of victims of the Great Irish Famine (1845-1852)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The Great Famine in Ireland between 1845 and 1852 was one of the worst health calamities of the nineteenth century. In recent years, palaeopathological analyses of human skeletal remains from archaeologically excavated famine mass burials from Ireland have revealed the physical impact of health deprivation due to starvation and infectious disease. Vitamin C deficiency and tuberculosis were two conditions that caused immense suffering during this period, and which are observable in the skeletal remains of the victims of the Famine. The manifestations of these reveal aspects of physical exhaustion but also that of recovery. Bioarchaeology – which is the study of human remains from archaeological contexts – provides a unique insight how the human experienced famines in the past. In the context of the Great Famine, it has provided means to acknowledge the lives of those who were lost and forgotten during a very dark and relatively recent period in the history of Ireland.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Famine, Starvation and Nutrient Deprivation
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Biology to Policy
EditorsV.R. Preedy, V.B. Patel
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Pages1-19
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)9783319553870
ISBN (Print)9783319553863
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Sep 2017

Keywords

  • bioarchaeology
  • clones
  • consumption
  • infectious disease
  • Ireland
  • Kilkenny
  • mass burials
  • mortality
  • nineteenth century
  • osteological paradox
  • palaeopathology
  • Vitamin C deficiency
  • workhouse

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Suffering the Great Hunger: Scurvy and tuberculosis as reflected in the skeletons of victims of the Great Irish Famine (1845-1852)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this