The population of Can Reiners. Demography and life conditions on Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain) during the Middle Ages

Elena Fiorin, Pere Ibáñez-Gimeno, Douglas H. Ubelaker, Albert Isidro, Assumpció Malgosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 Elsevier Ltd The study aims to reconstruct the demography and health of the individuals that lived during the medieval period in the northern coast of Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain). The skeletal remains, unearthed during the archeological excavations conducted between 1980 and 1988, came from the Can Reiners necropolis overlaying the forum of the Roman city of Pollentia. The minimum number of the individuals analysed in this work is 216: 64% are adults and 36% are sub-adults. The high mortality and the low life expectancy is consistent with the expected values for ancient populations such as this one. The peak of mortality for the sub-adult phase is between the second and the fourth year of life, which could be related with weaning. For the adults, the highest peak is between the 35 and the 40 years of age. These demographic data along with the low frequencies of age-related pathologies suggest that the people in this population did not reach the senile age range as a consequence of hard life conditions. The estimated stature is compared with other European populations of different periods. The results show that the mean male stature is consistent with the values from other European medieval cemeteries, whereas the female values are generally lower in Can Reiners than in the comparative samples. In addition, we suggest that migration, among other factors, could play an important role in the fact that females and sub-adults are underrepresented in this population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-131
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • Bioarchaeology
  • Palaeodemography
  • Palaeopathology
  • Skeletal remains


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