Skeleton showing the effects of leprosy, Netherlands, 1350-1500

Made:
1350-1500 in Netherlands
maker:
Unknown

Lower leg bones (tibia & Fibila), mature human, showing effects of leprosy, from a medieval Danish cemetary, reputedly c. 1350

The tibia and fibula of this adult human leg show the devastating effects of leprosy on the bones of the body. This erosion and damage, caused by the decay of protective fatty tissue, does not occur in all cases.

The leg is reputedly from an adult buried in a Danish leprosy cemetery attached to a leper hospital. Those with leprosy were social outcasts due to fear of catching the disfiguring disease and it appears the same happened in death. However, similar skeletal remains have been found in graveyards not attached to leper hospitals.

Details

Category:
Anatomy & Pathology
Object Number:
A635012/1
type:
leprosy
taxonomy:
credit:
Wellcome Trust