Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Anthropology

Content Description

1 online resource (xiii, 225 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Sharon N DeWitte

Committee Members

Adam Gordon, Sean Rafferty, Daniel White


Bioarchaeology, Body size, Mortality, Osteology

Subject Categories

Biological and Physical Anthropology


Short stature and body mass at both extremes of the distribution have consistently been linked to poor health outcomes in modern populations, but the nature of the relationship between body size and mortality is poorly understood. This dissertation examines the relationship between stature, body mass, and mortality, and how that relationship may have varied with socioeconomic status and evidence of morbidity in post-medieval England. Adults from Chelsea Old Church, an 18th-19th century high status skeletal collection from the outskirts of London, and Lower Saint Bride's, an 18th-19th century low status skeletal collection from central London, both housed at the Museum of London's Centre for Human Bioarchaeology, were analyzed for this study. Age and sex were estimated, measurements of skeletal elements associated with either stature or body mass were obtained, and evidence of morbidity was recorded. T-tests and ANOVA were used to determine whether body size (stature, mass, and their proxies) differed between socioeconomic strata, and Cox proportional hazards models were used to identify associations between body size variables and risk of mortality, and the influence of socioeconomic status and morbidity on those associations.