Saturday, 24 November 2012

Skulls, longbows, arrows … and nitcombs! Science sheds light on life aboard Tudor warship

Tudor skulls, bones, longbows, arrows and nitcombs were among the array of artefacts examined by Bishopston Comprehensive School pupils as Swansea University academics showed how 21st century technology is shedding new light about life aboard the 16th century warship The Mary Rose.


Nick Owen and Dr Sarah Forbes-Robinson from the Colleges of Engineering and Science visited the Year 8 pupils at the school to reveal how science and technology has helped them to discover more about the lives of the people on board Henry VIII’s warship which was sunk in 1545.

Mr Owen, a Sport and Exercise Biochemist who has been working with The Mary Rose Trust, showed pupils his work on samples of skeletons that were raised with the ship from the Solent in 1982.

Mr Owen’s research has focussed on the bones believed to be those of an elite company of professional archers who were known to have been on board the ship when it went down. Many of the skeletons show evidence of repetitive stress injuries of the shoulder and lower spine which are thought to be as a result of the shooting heavy longbows regularly.

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