It was a weekend of mothers–a weekend of gluttony. As a matter of fact, as I sit here typing, I’m feeling a bit like Chaucer’s Monk in the Canterbury Tales–“…ful fat and in good point” (line 200).
Speaking of which, seems Chaucer was spot on in his description. A 2004 study, conducted by archeologists at University College London, discovered that medieval monks were, indeed, gluttons. Through the course of the study, skeletons of one hundred monks, from three abbeys–dating 476 to 1450 AD–were analyzed. Seems most were affected with DISH, a condition recognized by lesions on the spine.
According to Tony Waldron, professor of archaeology at University College London:
“DISH seems to be related to obesity and type II diabetes and is probably a multisystem hormonal disorder. DISH occurs frequently in human skeletal remains, particularly in those recovered from monastic sites.” (taken from paper published in International Journal of Osteoarchaeology.)
Apparently, they were not-so-very faithful in donating a portion of their food to the poor. One piece of bread for you, one loaf for me…
Click here to read the full story, as posted on ABC Science.