Osteology

Out of a crew of 850 men, only 42 are known to have survived. During the days that followed the battle more than 180 men were washed ashore and buried in mass-graves. Thus approximately 600 men literally went to the bottom with the ship. So far the remains of 200-300 individuals have been recovered. The presence of considerable quantities of human remains within the structure of the vessel, offers an important opportunity for osteological research. The importance of the material, is due to the number of individuals in relatively good health. Skeletal material also provides insight into individuals, their diet, their size, what diseases they had, how they died which, develops a picture of the average 17th century Swede. In addition we know the exact date of simultaneous death, the spread of their age and their social and geographical origins.

The size of the crew on Kronan corresponds with the size of an average-sized Swedish town at the time. However, Kronan was a male society and no women were officially allowed onboard ships destined for battle. In terms of age, social and geographic origin, the crew constitutes a cross-section of 17th century Swedish society. Ages of the crew range from a 12 year old ships boy to a 60 year old helmsman, the majority were around 20-35 years old, with heights of between 156 and 183 cm and an average of 171 cm.

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