HISTORY OF SCURVY IN THE INLAND OF CENTRAL EUROPE (CZECH REPUBLIC) - A REVIEW
|Year of publication
|Article in Periodical
|Magazine / Source
|ANTHROPOLOGIE-INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HUMAN DIVERSITY AND EVOLUTION
|MU Faculty or unit
|Paleopathology; Scurvy; Czech Lands; Central Europe; Vitamin C; Vitamin deficiency
|In the history of medicine, scurvy is associated mainly with great overseas discoveries in the 15th and 16th centuries. It is estimated that about 2 million sailors died of scurvy during this period of discovery. The occurrence of scurvy in the past is therefore well mapped in coastal countries, but insufficient attention has as yet been paid to its distribution among the civilian population inland. The presented communication summarizes the available information on this disease, obtained both from literary sources and from the study of direct evidence on skeletal remains from various dated archaeological sites in the Czech Lands (Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia), located in Central Europe. The study also seeks to capture the living conditions of individuals with scurvy, with a special focus on the nutrition of the studied population. It confirms the occurrence of this disease from prehistory to modern times. The endangered group is always children between 2 and 5 years of age, which corresponds to the period when breastfeeding ends and there is a transition to a solid diet. In modern times, scurvy is recorded mainly in social institutions (orphanages, foundling homes), prisons and in armies in times of war.