TheCityDwellers – Migration and Health in Medieval Viborg
Using excavated skeletons, this project explores the consequences of environmental, social and economic change on human migration, mortality and morbidity in a tightly defined historical context. Medieval Viborg offers a unique opportunity to identify how economic, social and cultural change influenced the life, disease and mobility of people at the dawn of the modern era. A novel approach in determining where people have been at different times in their past will be developed and applied to the Viborg skeletons. This will, in combination with a tight control over the dating of individual burials, permits osteological observations to be connected to specific historical tendencies in population migration. Most of the skeletons are already stored in the ADBOU skeletal collection in University of Southern Denmark and the skeletons being excavated just now will be included before the onset of this project. This means that the Viborg skeletons already are part of a Bio-Bank. This aspect of the collection will be developed further facilitating the testing of hypotheses using individual life history data regarding the impact of environmental and social change on disease susceptibility and differential mortality. The Bio-Bank is a repository for systematically collected skeletons. Data from this collection is available for researchers worldwide that will be supplemented over time by additional complementary projects. These materials are preserved for yet unforeseen future research. The proposed research will provide a fundamentally new approach to the demographic and epidemiological processes that created our modern world. In addition, it will create a new basis for understand the interaction between people, both as individuals and at a population level.
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