Analytical science: Secrets of the Mary Rose
Analytical science: Secrets of the Mary Rose

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Analytical science: Secrets of the Mary Rose

4.3 Determining the on-board diet

There was no evidence from observation of the bone shapes that the sailors died of anything other than drowning; however, they may have had conditions in childhood or adulthood which would have left their marks on the skeleton. Many of the men were found to have had a condition called 'os acromiale' where the shoulder blade has not fully fused together. This is thought to result from the persistent use, since childhood, of longbows in training and battle. The bones also reflected one of the most common problems associated with a life at sea in those times: rickets (in adolescents, or osteomalacia in adults), caused by vitamin D deficiency and leading to weak and deformed bones. There were no faecal remains available from which to ascertain the crewmen's diet and their final meal(s) that may have confirmed whether these health conditions were due to a seafaring life.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371