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The Odd, the Unusual, and the StrangeBioarchaeological Explorations of Atypical Burials$
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Tracy K. Betsinger, Amy B. Scott, and Anastasia Tsaliki

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781683401032

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683401032.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Does Health Define Deviancy?

Does Health Define Deviancy?

Non-Normative Burials in Post-Medieval Poland

(p.276) 14 Does Health Define Deviancy?
The Odd, the Unusual, and the Strange

Tracy K. Betsinger

Amy B. Scott

University Press of Florida

The post-medieval cemetery site Drawsko 1 located in western Poland has yielded several unusual burials with anti-vampire mortuary treatments. There are many possible reasons why these individuals received atypical mortuary treatment, including health problems such as birth defects, disease, and violent injuries. A sample of approximately 300 adult individuals (>18 years) from Drawsko 1, including five “vampire” burials, was analyzed for the presence of various health-related conditions, such as traumatic injuries, infectious disease, stress markers, and dietary deficiency. The deviant and normative burials were compared for the prevalence of each specific condition. Results (Fisher’s exact, p<0.05) suggest that based on these indicators, health-related conditions do not account for the atypical treatment of the “vampire” burials. Instead, deviancy was likely culturally defined and mediated rather than biologically determined.

Keywords:   Poland, Post-medieval cemetery, Stress marker, Infectious disease, Mortuary treatment, Drawsko 1, Anti-vampire

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