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maximus otter

Recovering policeman
Aug 9, 2001
The After the Plague Project chose sixteen human skeletons from different sites to reconstruct the biographies of these inhabitants of medieval Cambridge in as much detail as possible.

Out of the hundreds of skeletons we studied, we chose these individuals for biographical reconstruction because each of them has a story to tell. They are all well-preserved enough to yield a lot of detail, including some molecular data, and each one represents a good example of others like it, some neighbourhood or group of our data and of medieval Cambridge. . PSN90 probably had a childhood of serious deprivation and died young in a poorhouse. PSN766 almost certainly died in the Black Death. We chose PSN92 to illustrate someone who had survived the Black Death, but he also was an old man with an active metastatic cancer who may have become poor in his old age. PSN911 may have died in childbirth, a common medieval life risk. The friars PSN522 and PSN524 represent the numerous religious professionals in a medieval town, especially Cambridge. PSN525 was a prosperous older woman, probably a patron of the Friary. PSN332 probably came from far away and died on a visit to Cambridge. And so on.

For more information on how we create osteobiographies, see further down this page. But for now....

These are human stories. Come and meet the people of medieval Cambridge:

Details of the lives and health of individuals.

maximus otter
I'm interested in this.
There's a book series by Phillipa Gregory set in Medieval Cambridge in the time after the plague. It's interesting as it reflects the social changes brought about in the aftermath - such as wage pressure on the employers, the rise in the merchant classes etc.
The first recorded use of the swearword 'fuck' regards the people of mediaeval Cambridge:

the usually accepted first known occurrence of the word is found in code in a poem in a mixture of Latin and English composed in the 15th century. The poem, which satirizes the Carmelite friars of Cambridge, England, takes its title, "Flen flyys", from the first words of its opening line, Flen, flyys, and freris ('Fleas, flies, and friars'). The line that contains fuck reads Non sunt in coeli, quia gxddbov xxkxzt pg ifmk. Deciphering the phrase gxddbou xxkxzt pg ifmk, here by replacing each letter by the previous letter in alphabetical order, as the English alphabet was then, yields the macaronic non sunt in coeli, quia fuccant vvivys of heli, which translated means, 'They are not in heaven, because they fuck the women of Ely'.