Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

Anthropology, MA

Committee Chair

Marklein, Kathryn

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Crespo, Fabian

Committee Member

Crespo, Fabian

Committee Member

Running, Mark

Author's Keywords

Bioarchaeology; St. Bride's; industrial revolution; child maltreatment; social inequality; crossbones


As the most vulnerable members of society, children (and their treatment) may reveal important sociocultural and socioeconomic praxes throughout human history. During the Postmedieval period, children, especially low socioeconomic status (SES) individuals, participated in the workforce. By examining the demographic distributions and paleopathological profiles of juvenile skeletal remains from high SES (St. Bride’s Crypt and Chelsea Old Church) and low SES (St. Bride’s Lower and Crossbones) Postmedieval (1700-1850 CE) London cemeteries, we can better understand how SES impacted the biological health and mortality of children. While results indicated higher mortality risk associated with low SES circumstances, most differences in pathological conditions did not reflect straightforward low-high SES divides. Rather, paleopathological distributions showed greater differences by individual cemetery than between SES samples, suggesting more variation within ascribed SES groups. Ultimately, this evaluation of childhood frailty highlights the complexities of SES and the variable health, environmental, and social conditions affecting Postmedieval children.