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"Life on a Napoleonic battlefield: A bioarchaeological..." Topic

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322 hits since 8 Jul 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP09 Jul 2018 12:02 p.m. PST

… analysis of soldiers from the Battle of Aspern, Austria.

"On the 21st-22nd of May 1809, French and Austrian soldiers engaged in battle near the village of Aspern on the outskirts of Vienna. This battle, the first defeat of Napoleon's army on land, was one of the largest and deadliest encounters during the Napoleonic Wars (1798-1815). Salvage excavations between 2009 and 2016 have revealed several battlefield burial sites in Aspern. The remains of 30 individuals were evaluated for a series of pathological conditions which develop during childhood and adulthood to elucidate the impact of Napoleonic military conditions on health. Statistical comparisons were conducted of stature estimates and frequencies of pathological conditions between the Aspern soldiers, several contemporaneous military, and two civilian samples of differing socioeconomic status. These data were compared to test the hypothesis that military conscripts had 'healthy' childhoods, but then experienced deteriorating health as a result of military conditions. The analysis revealed comparatively high mean stature, but also a high prevalence of enamel hypoplastic defects, indicating that the childhood health of the military recruits was more varied than was initially expected. High frequencies of carious lesions, dental calculus, active maxillary sinusitis and pleuritis and osteoarthritis were recorded, demonstrating the deleterious effects of military life on health."
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