Precarious adolescence: Adolescent rickets and anterior sacral angulation in two Dutch skeletal collections from the 18th–19th centuries Academic Article uri icon

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  • Objective

    This project aims to provide an objective approach to suggesting cases of adolescent rickets using the presence of anterior sacral angulation and interglobular dentine.


    Sacra from 49 individuals from Hattem and 150 individuals from Middenbeemster, and second and third molars from five individuals from Hattem were analyzed. Both sites date to the 17th to 19th centuries.


    The sacra were visually assessed for sacral angulation and measured to quantify anterior sacral angulation. The sampled molars were thin sectioned to look for the presence of interglobular dentine.


    Metric analysis determined that seven individuals had significantly anteriorly angled sacra. Three of the five individuals with sampled molars had interglobular dentine formed during adolescence.


    Adolescent rickets may be associated with anterior sacral angulation.


    Anterior sacral angulation may help identify possible cases of adolescent rickets in archaeological human remains.


    The small sample size for the molars prevented the identification of more individuals with interglobular dentine present during adolescence. Several individuals with visibly angled sacra were unmeasurable due to post-mortem damage and lacked molars.

    Suggestions for further research

    Research on a larger sample would allow us to understand better the association between anterior sacral angulation and adolescent rickets.

publication date

  • March 2023