In the anthropologic literature, porotic hyperostosis is mostly seen as evidence of iron deficiency anemia, but in this case specific clues indicate the girl was a scurvy victim.
"When it comes to anaemia, porotic hyperostosis normally concentrates on the internal surface of the skull and on the eye bony sockets. In case of scurvy we also find it on the palate and in the sphenoid," Dellù said.
Standing just under 5 feet tall, the young girl somehow scared the community.
Her pallor, associated to other scurvy symptoms such as mouth, leg and eye bleeding, corkscrew hair, protruding eyes, frog leg posture and possibly fainting and epileptic seizures, must have played a key role in her social rejection.
As she died, she was humiliated with the face down treatment, so that her soul, considered impure, would not come out to threaten the living.
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"Any disease that people didn't understand may have caused them to bury someone in a deviant manner," Kristina Killgrove, biological anthropologist at the University of West Florida not involved in the research, told Discovery News.