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Demographic trends and biological status of historic populations from Central Poland The Ostrw Lednicki microregion.

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AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 125:369 –381 (2004)
Demographic Trends and Biological Status of
Historic Populations From Central Poland:
The Ostrów Lednicki Microregion
Alicja Budnik,* Grażyna Liczbińska, and Izabela Gumna
Department of Anthropology, Adam Mickiewicz University, 61-701 Poznań, Poland
KEY WORDS
life tables; opportunity for natural selection; exogamy; coefficients of kinship
ABSTRACT
The microregion of Ostrów Lednicki in
the province of Wielkopolska was the center of the formation of the Polish State in Early Middle Ages. The analysis
of skeletal remains and parish records from the region
documented the biological status of inhabitants and its
changes over a millennium. The study material comprised
424 human skeletons from an Early Medieval burial
ground on Lake Lednica, records of 2,704 deaths from the
registers of the Roman Catholic parish of Dziekanowice,
made between 1818 –1903, data on the deaths of 929,192
inhabitants of rural areas all over the province Wielkopolska obtained from Prussian statistical materials for the
years 1865–1900, and comparative data from the literature. Assuming both a stationary population model and a
stable population model with nonzero natural increase,
parameters of life tables and measures of opportunity for
natural selection (Crow’s index Im, potential gross reproductive rate Rpot, and the biological state index Ibs) were
calculated for the Early Middle Ages and for the two
periods of the 19th century which were characterized by
different laws of land ownership and thus different rural
economies. In the first period, peasants were tenants,
whereas in the second, they were given freehold of the
land they cultivated. Causes of death were also analyzed.
A distinct increase in longevity from the early Middle Ages
to the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th
century was found. This was related to a higher level of
demographic development in the parish of Dziekanowice
during the 19th century, which was achieved earlier than
in other areas of Poland. This was confirmed by genetic
measures: coefficients of exogamy and coefficients of kinship. The reasons were related to the historical prominence of this region and to its proximity to the first two
capitals of the Polish state, Gniezno and Poznań. Am J
Phys Anthropol 125:369 –381, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
In the vicinity of Poznań and Gniezno, the two
first capitals of the Medieval Polish state, within the
ancient territory of the Polanie tribe (Polonians),
there lies the glacial channel of Lake Lednica (Fig.
1). The landscapes of the areas around the lake are
typical for the Wielkopolska region, with its numerous moraine hills, extensive flat farmlands, and
scrub forests. Richness of the local natural resources
was conducive to human activity in the past.
The second half of the 10th century (the early
Middle Ages in Poland) brought a dramatic increase
in settlement in the area surrounding the lake. At
that time, on the lake’s largest island (called Ostrów
Lednicki), Prince Mieszko I, the first historical ruler
of the Polish state, built one of the country’s leading
cities of great strategic, residential, and religious
importance (Górecki, 1991; Kurnatowska, 1987;
Kurnatowska and Kurnatowski, 1991). Ruins of the
city are protected as a national monument because
it was the site of the official acceptance of the Polish
state into the Christendom in 966. The construction
of the city on Ostrów Lednicki island initiated the
erection of numerous settlements around the lake.
Archaeologists observed a distinct concentration of
archaeological finds in the surroundings of the
present-day villages of this microregion. The majority of these villages have documented medieval origins (Kurnatowska and Kurnatowski, 1991; Sulimierski, 2002). Among them are the villages of the
Roman Catholic parish of Dziekanowice (Fig. 1). The
parish has well-kept public registers covering the
years 1818 –1903. In the proximity of the village of
Dziekanowice, on the shore of Lake Lednica, there is
the Early Medieval burial ground Dziekanowice 22
(Fig. 1).
The purpose of this work is: 1) to characterize
biological dynamics in rural populations of the Ostrów Lednicki microregion in the Early Middle Ages,
in the 19th century, and at the beginning of the 20th
century; and 2) to determine whether the fact that in
the Early Middle Ages Ostrów Lednicki was the
©
2004 WILEY-LISS, INC.
*Correspondence to: Alicja Budnik, Department of Anthropology,
Adam Mickiewicz University, Fredry 10, 61-701 Poznań, Poland.
E-mail:ambpp@main.amu.edu.pl
Received 24 April 2001; accepted 13 December 2002.
DOI 10.1002/ajpa.10272
Published online 26 July 2004 in Wiley InterScience (www.
interscience.wiley.com).
370
A. BUDNIK ET AL.
Fig. 1. Wielkopolska (Provinz Posen) in 19th century on map
of present-day Poland and Ostrów Lednicki microregion. 1, Lake
Lednica; 2, Ostrów Lednicki island; 3, burial ground Dziekanowice 22; solid circles, villages of parish of Dziekanowice.
locus of one of the most important centers of power
in the Polish state could have an effect on the demographic development of the microregion and the biological status of its inhabitants in the following
ages.
MATERIALS
Two types of materials were used in the study.
First, there were the skeletal remains excavated
from the burial ground in Dziekanowice, site 22.
This burial ground is situated at a distance of
approximately 90 m from the eastern shore of Lake
Lednica, opposite Ostrów Lednicki island, in the
vicinity of one of the Medieval bridge abutments
(Fig. 1). Graves are dated to the period extending
from the mid-11th century through the end of the
12th century (the Early Middle Ages).The remains
of a settlement, existing from the 10th through the
mid-11th century, were discovered in the same area
(Wrzesińska and Wrzesiński, 1998a).
Most skeletons were oriented in an east-west axis.
Nearly every other skeleton had accompanying
grave goods. Among those most common were knives
and hair-rings (small hoops hung around the temples of women). Also, a number of objects of everyday
use were found: nails, bone adzes, earthenware
weaving weights, pottery, buckets, sharpening
stones, a flintbox, scissors, bone whistles, and jewelry. Among the jewelry were glass and tin beads,
belt buckles and studs, silver and bronze rings, and
gilded objects. In several graves, coins were found,
while in several others, small stone balls, probably
sling missiles, were present. One burial contained
an arrowhead. Among especially richly endowed
burials was that of a male with a sword. It was
covered by a cobblestone pavement (Wrzesińska and
Wrzesiński, 1998b).
Systematic excavation of the burial ground
started in 1977. Thus far 424 human skeletons have
been excavated. For these individuals, Anna Wrzesińska constructed a preliminary stationary life table (Wrzesińska and Wrzesiński, 1998a).
Secondly, there were the data on the mortality of
the population of the Roman Catholic parish of Dziekanowice found in the parish death registers for
the years 1818 –1903, deposited in the State Archives in Poznań and in the Archdiocesan Archives
in Gniezno. In the period under study, the parish
comprised nine villages: Dziekanowice, Jeziorzany,
Komorowo, Lednogóra, Moraczewo, Piaski, Siemianowo, Waliszewo, and Żydówko (Fig. 1). All of them
had complete death records for the period studied.
The parish was and still is a typical rural microregion of Wielkopolska. The study covers a period of
great significance for the history of the 19th century
in rural Wielkopolska, because in the years 1823–
1865, Prussian enfranchisement laws were implemented in the region. The enfranchisement abolished tenancy and gave peasants full ownership
(freehold) of lands they cultivated. This removed
feudal dependence on landowners, and caused gradual replacement of feudal structures in rural areas
by the free market system, typical for a capitalist
economy. The Prussian state took the first step towards enfranchisement in its 1811 edict. The process of changing land ownership rights reached
Wielkopolska several years later. Full implementation of the reforms stretched over the next 40 years
(Borowski, 1962, 1967; Davies, 1981; Jakóbczyk,
1959a,b). For the purposes of the present analysis,
two periods were distinguished. The first (1818 –
1850) covers the time preceding the principal part of
the agrarian reform. The second, lasting from 1851–
1903, covers the actual time of the implementation
of the reform and the time following the enfranchisement. In total, data on the deaths of 2,704 individuals of Roman Catholic persuasion were gathered.
We were also able to establish the cause of death for
most of them (88%).
In addition, for comparison purposes, data on the
deaths of 929,192 inhabitants of all the villages of
Wielkopolska were gathered from original Prussian
statistics for the years 1865–1900. At that time, this
part of Poland was occupied by Prussia and was
referred to as Provinz Posen (Preussische Statistik,
1869, 1870, 1874, 1876a,b, 1878 –1900). We also
used data from literature referring to mortality in
two 19th century rural parishes: Szczepanowo in
Wielkopolska (Henneberg, 1977a,b, 1978), and Wielkie Drogi near Kraków in southern Poland (at that
time, Galicia was under the rule of Austria; Puch,
1989, 1993).
METHODS
The determination of sex and age at death of the
skeletons found in the burial ground Dziekanowice
22 was performed by Wrzesińska and Wrzesiński
(1998a).
371
BIOLOGICAL STATUS: POLISH HISTORICAL POPULATIONS
Methodological and theoretical problems and controversies concerning mortality in earlier human
populations are well-known (e.g., Acsádi and Nemeskéri, 1970; Angel, 1969; Bocquet-Appel and Masset, 1982, 1996; Buikstra and Konigsberg, 1985;
Gage, 1988, 1991; Henneberg and Steyn, 1994; Howell, 1982; Johansson and Horowitz, 1986; Konigsberg and Frankenberg, 1992, 1994; Meindl and Russel, 1998; Milner at al., 1989; Paine, 1989; Piontek
and Weber, 1990; Sattenspiel and Harpending,
1983; Van Gerven and Armelagos, 1983; Weiss,
1973; Wood at al., 1992). In particular, hazard models (Gage, 1988, 1991; Wood at al.,1992) and maximum likelihood methods (Paine, 1989) are recommended in paleodemography, instead of standard
life tables calculated by Halley’s method. It is commonly thought that the age structure reconstructed
from the age-at-death distribution of individuals
buried in a cemetery, especially one used over a long
period of time, does not reflect age structure of a
living population in a given period. Hence, life tables
built from archaeological skeletal samples are regarded with criticism. However, Henneberg and
Henneberg (2001) showed that the age distribution
of persons deceased during the catastrophic eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD in Pompeii did not differ
from age distributions derived from classical ancient
cemeteries in Southern Italy. These cemeteries
would normally be criticized as unreliable sources of
demographic data, and yet they produce parameters
of life tables very similar to those obtained for Pompeii. Moreover, the age distribution in the series
from Pompeii does not differ significantly from the
age structure derived earlier by Henneberg (1977a)
from the parish records of a preindustrial Central
European population.
In this work, life tables were constructed both for
the skeletal material and for the death register material from the 19th century and from the beginning
of the 20th century. In each case, tables were made
for two population models: 1) for the stationary population model, by Halley’s classical method (Acsádi
and Némeskeri, 1970), and 2) for the stable population model with nonzero natural increase. Natural
increase is defined here as the difference between
crude birth and death rates (Holzer, 1980; Pressat,
1961). In the latter case, distribution of the deceased
was reconstructed according to the following formula:
D⬘x ⫽ Dx(1 ⫹ r)x (Holzer, 1980; Pressat, 1961),
where Dx⬘ is the number of deceased at age x for the
stable population, Dx is the number of deceased at
age x for the stationary population, r is the annual
natural increase rate, and x is number of years from
birth till death. Details of this approach were discussed by Henneberg and Steyn (1994). The values
of natural increase for the population of Wielkopolska from the 19th and the beginning of the 20th
century were adopted after Borowski (1969). A number of life tables were built for the Early Medieval
sample from the Dziekanowice burial ground, using
various levels of natural increase, from 0.000 –
0.025. These life tables were then compared with the
model life tables of Weiss (1973), and the one closest
to the model was chosen as representative. In this
way, the most probable rate of natural increase was
determined.
In archaeological skeletal materials, there is often
no adequate representation of deceased children,
and of neonates, infants, and young children in particular. Since a similar situation occurred at the
Dziekanowice 22 site, we adjusted the number of the
individuals deceased at age 0 –14 years, using the
method proposed by Henneberg (1977c):
d 0–14 ⫽ 1 ⫺
Ro 䡠 2
,
Rpot 䡠 Uc
where d0 –14 is a fraction of children deceased before
reaching year 15 of life, Uc is an average number of
children born over the reproductive period of a female in the population under study, Rpot denotes the
potential gross reproductive rate (see below), and R0
is the net reproductive rate. For the stationary population model, R0 ⫽ 1. The difference between the
probable child death frequency estimated in this
way and the frequency obtained for the burial
ground was distributed among child age categories
according to the most common sequence of child
mortality in historical populations from the area of
Poland (e.g., Gumna, 2000; Puch, 1989).
Rpot rate measures the opportunity for natural
selection through adult mortality, and is expressed
with the following formula (Henneberg, 1975, 1976):
冘 ds,
␻
R pot ⫽ 1 ⫺
x x
x⫽15
where dx is a fraction of the individuals deceased at
the age x, ␻ is the age of the oldest individual in the
group, and sx is a probability of not having a complete number of offspring at age x or, in other words,
the index of reproductive loss by age. This is a value
resulting from the “fertility archetype” which is common for non-Malthusian populations. In this work,
we used sx values given by Henneberg (1975, 1976;
see also Stephan and Henneberg, 2001).
The Rpot rate is a component of the biological state
index Ibs. The index is a measure of the total opportunity for natural selection through mortality. It
takes into account both the deaths of sexually immature individuals and the differential mortality of
individuals in the reproductive phase of adult life.
The general form of this index is (Henneberg, 1976;
Henneberg and Piontek, 1975; Stephan and Henneberg, 2001):
冘ds,
␻
I bs ⫽ 1 ⫺
x x
x⫽0
symbols as explained above.
372
A. BUDNIK ET AL.
TABLE 1. Abridged life table for the Early Medieval skeletal
sample of Dziekanowice 221
Age
N
dx
lx
qx
ex
0
1
7
15
20
30
40
50
60
70 ⫺ x
32.0
68.0
25.0
28.0
89.5
76.5
63.5
33.5
7.0
1.0
7.5
16.0
5.9
6.6
21.1
18.0
15.0
7.9
1.7
0.2
99.9
92.2
76.4
70.5
63.9
42.8
24.8
9.8
1.9
0.2
0.07
0.17
0.08
0.09
0.33
0.42
0.60
0.81
0.89
1.0
26.4
27.5
26.7
20.6
17.4
13.6
9.8
7.1
6.0
5.0
1
Stationary population model, without correction of number of
children, after Wrzesińska and Wrzesiński, 1998a, N ⫽ 424.
Theoretically, the values of Rpot and Ibs can fall
into the range from 0 –1.
Apart from the two above-mentioned measures of
intensity of natural selection through mortality, we
also estimated the value of Crow’s classical index Im
(Crow, 1958). In this index, mortality variance is
measured by the ratio of individuals who died before
reaching sexual maturity (Pd) to the number of individuals who reached the age at which the reproductive period starts (Ps): Im ⫽ Pd/Ps.
The statistical significance of the differences in
life expectancy ex in life tables was assessed using
nomograms and standard error tables (Henneberg
and Strzałko, 1975).
Percentage frequencies of causes of death in the
parish Dziekanowice and in other rural settlements
of Wielkopolska were determined. Statistical significance of differences between those distributions
was tested by means of the u-test (Oktaba, 1976).
A single level of significance ␣ ⫽ 0.05 was adopted
for all tests.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Mortality and biological dynamics in the
Ostrów Lednicki microregion in the Early
Middle Ages
The starting point for our analyses was the age
distribution of the deceased buried at the cemetery.
The newborn life expectancy e0 in the life table constructed on the basis of this distribution for the
stationary population model was 26.4 years (Wrzesińska and Wrzesiński, 1998a; Table 1). It is a
relatively high value. It is similar to the e0 value
from the Early Medieval model Hungarian table
(Acsádi and Némeskeri, 1970). However, it is insufficient for drawing serious biological conclusions.
This is because it may result from an unrealistically
low frequency of child skeletons excavated at this
cemetery. Many authors (e.g., Angel, 1969; Henneberg, 1977c; Lovejoy et al., 1977; Meindl and Russell, 1998; Mensforth, 1990; Piasecki and Florkowski, 1979; Piontek, 1977) pointed to the fact
that the numbers of children in cemeteries were
often underestimated. In Dziekanowice 22, the proportion of the deceased in the 0 –14-year category
was 29.4%, and the 0 –1-year category was represented only by 7.5% of the deceased. It is hardly
possible that the death rate of children, especially of
neonates and infants, in this population was lower
than the death rate recorded in 19th century rural
populations. This underrepresenation of individuals
who had died in the first year of life also resulted in
apparently high survivorship to reproductive age
(l15 ⫽ 70.5%). Dependence between frequencies of
deceased children and newborn life expectancies is
illustrated in Table 2. Due to questionable reliability
of e0 values computed directly from skeletal samples, Table 2 also contains adult life expectancies
(e20) that should be less influenced by age-specific
underrepresentation of skeletons. Adult life expectancies were rather low in all skeletal samples from
the Ostrów Lednicki microregion: Dziekanowice 22,
Diekanowice 2 (a small burial ground about 2 km
south of Dziekanowice 22), and Ostrów Lednicki.
Comparison of adult age distributions (Fig. 2) provides a partial explanation of low adult life expectancy values. In all samples, with the exception of
Ostrów Lednicki, the modal number of deceased lies
in the age category 20 –29 years. A similar situation
was observed in Early Medieval skeletal samples
from Western Pomerania (Miłosz, 1989).
We attempted to adjust the number of the deceased children with the method proposed by Henneberg (1977c). The total number of deceased in the
0 –14-year category was estimated at 47.9% of all the
deceased with the following assumptions: gross reproductive rate Rpot ⫽ 0.64 (Wrzesińska and Wrzesiński, 1998a), net reproductive rate R0 ⫽ 1 (the
stationary population model), and average number
of births per woman Uc ⫽ 6. Two-thirds of the difference between the estimated number of deceased
children and the actual number excavated were allocated to 0 –1-year category, and one-third to 1– 6year category. The distribution of deceased by age
adjusted in this manner was adopted as a basis for
the construction of a new life table.
Following this correction, the newborn life expectancy decreased by more than 6.5 years (Table 3, Fig.
3). This is a statistically significant difference. Probability of a newborn’s death increased more than
tripled, while the survivorship to age 15 years became about 50%. This life table fits much better one
of the models of Weiss (1973) (MT, 20.0 –50.0) than
the life table without correction. The assumption of
the stationary character of the population involves a
great generalization and was frequently criticized in
the past (e.g., Angel, 1969; Howell, 1982; Johansson
and Horowitz, 1986). Bennett (1973) and Weiss
(1973) were the first researchers to apply the stable
population theory to skeletal materials.
A number of life tables were constructed for the
Early Medieval sample from the Dziekanowice 22
site, assuming various rates of natural increase.
From among these, we selected a table with values
best fitting the model life table MT 22.5– 65.0
(Weiss, 1973). In this way, we concluded that the
373
BIOLOGICAL STATUS: POLISH HISTORICAL POPULATIONS
TABLE 2. Percentage of deceased subadults d0 –14, values of newborn life expectancy e0, and
adult life expectancy e20 (in years) for skeletal samples in Middle Ages1
Sample
Period
d0–14
e0
e20
Authors
Dziekanowice 22, Poland
Dziekanowice 2, Poland
Ostrów Lednicki, Poland
11th–12th centuries
11th century
10th–14th centuries
29.4
9.3
2.1
26.4
28.0
41.4
17.4
16.0
17.9
Westerhus, Sweden
Hungarian series (model)
Espenfeld, Germany
1100–1350 AD
10th–12th centuries
Early Middle Ages
56.6
39.4
49.2
19.9
28.7
19.0
21.1
27.5
15.4
Ptuj, Slovenia
10th–11th centuries
22.8
37.3
26.6
Wrzesińska and Wrzesiński, 1998a
Henneberg and Puch, 1989
Calculated by authors from Godycki, 1956;
Wokroj, 1953; Henneberg and Kozak,
1976
Calculated by authors from Gejvall, 1960
Acsádi and Nemeskéri, 1970
Bach and Bach, after Henneberg and
Strzal兾lko, 1975
Calculated by authors from Ivaniček, 1951
1
Stationary population model, without correction of number of children.
Fig. 2. Distribution of age at death in skeletal samples of
adults from Middle Ages.
Fig. 3. Values of life expectancy ex in Early Medieval skeletal
sample of Dziekanowice 22 (stationary population model and
stable population model with r ⫽ 0.015).
most likely rate of natural increase in the Early
Medieval population of Dziekanowice was 0.015 per
year (Table 3).When this natural increase was taken
into account, the newborn life expectancy increased
significantly to 25.4 years. The average age of an
adult at death was almost 40 years (Fig. 3). The
percentage of individuals reaching the reproductive
period (l15 ⫽ 64.1%) was practically as high as in the
villages of the studied microregion in the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century (Table
6). However, the percentage of individuals surviving
to senility (l60 ⫽ 2.7%) was incommensurately lower
(Table 6). This may reflect problems with assessing
the age of older individuals in skeletal material.
Values of the indices of the opportunity for natural selection through differential mortality in Dziekanowice and in a number of other Medieval populations are shown in Table 4. Values of the potential
gross reproductive rate (Rpot) indicate that individuals who reached adulthood realized 69% of their
reproductive potential, due to premature mortality
during their reproductive lifespans. In general, at
best, 45% of all individuals born into the population
had a chance to fully participate in the reproduction
of the next generation and hence to pass their genes
into its gene pool. This is indicated by the values of
the biological state index (Ibs). This index measures
the overall opportunity for the operation of natural
selection through mortality. It takes into account
not only deaths of sexually immature subadults (as
does the Crow’s Im) but also the premature mortality
of adults before they reach the end of their reproductive life span. Thus, the biological state index
provides more complete information about the opportunity for natural selection through differential
mortality than does the Crow’s Im index. Values of
the indices of the opportunity for selection calculated for the Dziekanowice 22 sample fall within the
range of values observed for other Medieval populations (Table 4).
Mortality and biological dynamics in the parish
of Dziekanowice in the 19th century and at the
beginning of the 20th century
Biometric functions of life tables calculated from
Dziekanowice parish records for the two periods: I
(before the enfranchisement of peasants) and II (after enfranchisement) are shown in Tables 5 and 6.
In addition, Tables 7 and 8 and Figures 4 –7 show
374
A. BUDNIK ET AL.
TABLE 3. Abridged life tables for Early Medieval skeletal sample of Dziekanowice 22 after
correcting for underrepresenation of children
Stable population model (rate of natural increase
of r ⫽ 0.015 per year)
Stationary population model
Age
dx
lx
qx
ex
dx
lx
qx
ex
0
1
7
15
20
30
40
50
60
70 ⫺ x
23.1
20.5
4.3
4.9
15.6
13.3
11.0
5.8
1.2
0.2
100.0
76.9
56.3
52.0
47.1
31.6
18.3
7.2
1.4
0.2
0.23
0.27
0.07
0.09
0.33
0.42
0.60
0.81
0.87
1.0
19.9
24.7
26.7
20.6
17.4
13.6
9.8
7.2
6.2
5.0
16.6
15.5
3.6
4.5
16.1
16.0
15.4
9.4
2.3
0.4
100.0
83.3
67.8
64.1
59.6
43.5
27.5
12.1
2.7
0.4
0.17
0.19
0.05
0.07
0.27
0.37
0.56
0.78
0.86
1.0
25.4
29.4
29.4
22.9
19.4
14.8
10.5
7.5
6.4
5.0
TABLE 4. Measures of opportunity for natural selection through differential mortality in skeletal samples in Middle Ages
(stationary population model)
Sample
Period
Im
Rpot
Ibs
Dziekanowice 22, Poland
Dziekanowice 22, Poland1
Dziekanowice 2, Poland2
Ostrów Lednicki, Poland3
Gruczno, Poland4
West Pomerania, Poland5
Sulejovice, Czech Republic4
Mikulčice, Czech Republic4
Ptuj, Slovenia4
Westerhus, Sweden6
Espenfeld, Germany7
11th–12th centuries
11th–12th centuries
11th century
10th–14th centuries
11th–12th centuries
10th–12th centuries
10th century
Early Middle Ages
10th–11th centuries
1100–1350 AD
Early Middle Ages
0.92
0.56
1.00
0.64
0.69
0.62
0.65
0.65
0.69
0.56
0.76
0.71
0.66
0.60
0.33
0.45
0.31
0.33
0.39
0.28
0.30
0.49
0.48
0.29
0.30
1.30
0.96
Stable population model (r ⫽ 0.015).
After Henneberg and Puch, 1989.
3
After Henneberg and Kozak, 1976.
4
After Piontek, 1979.
5
After Miłosz, 1989.
6
Calculated by authors from Gejvall, 1960.
7
Calculated by authors from Bach and Bach, after Henneberg and Strzałko, 1975.
1
2
TABLE 5. Abridged life tables for parish of Dziekanowice in 19th century and at beginning of 20th century1
Period I, before enfranchisement
(1818–1850),
N ⫽ 751
Period II, during and after enfranchisement
(1851–1903), N ⫽ 1,891
Age
dx
lx
qx
ex
dx
lx
qx
ex
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
55
60
65
70
75
80
85
90–100
40.5
5.6
3.5
4.1
3.3
4.3
3.5
4.7
1.6
3.3
2.0
4.0
2.3
6.8
2.7
4.5
0.5
2.1
0.8
100.0
59.5
53.9
50.5
46.3
43.0
38.7
35.3
30.6
29.0
25.7
23.7
19.7
17.4
10.6
8.0
3.5
2.9
0.8
0.40
0.09
0.06
0.08
0.07
0.1
0.09
0.13
0.05
0.11
0.08
0.17
0.11
0.39
0.25
0.57
0.15
0.72
1.0
28.3
39.5
38.3
35.8
33.7
31.1
29.3
26.9
25.6
21.9
19.4
15.9
13.6
10.0
9.8
7.2
8.5
4.5
5.0
53.0
5.8
1.8
1.9
2.5
3.2
1.9
3.2
2.3
2.8
2.0
3.9
2.7
4.2
2.8
3.0
1.2
0.9
0.6
100.0
47.0
41.1
39.3
37.4
34.9
31.7
29.8
26.5
24.3
21.4
19.4
15.5
12.7
8.5
5.7
2.7
1.5
0.6
0.53
0.12
0.04
0.05
0.07
0.09
0.06
0.11
0.09
0.12
0.09
0.20
0.18
0.33
0.34
0.52
0.43
0.62
1.0
23.3
40.1
40.4
37.2
34.0
31.2
29.1
25.9
23.7
20.7
18.1
14.7
12.8
10.1
8.8
7.0
7.0
5.3
5.0
1
Stationary population model, without stillbirths.
newborn and adult life expectancies in Dziekanowice and in some other 19th century populations
selected for comparison.
Compared to the Early Middle Ages, the reduction
of mortality was very distinct, especially when life
tables for the stable population model are consid-
375
BIOLOGICAL STATUS: POLISH HISTORICAL POPULATIONS
TABLE 6. Abridged life tables for parish of Dziekanowice in 19th century and at beginning of 20th century
(stable population model)
Period II, during and after enfranchisement
(1851–1903), rate of natural increase of
r ⫽ 0.0151 per year
Period I, before enfranchisement (1818–1850), rate
of natural increase of r ⫽ 0.0122 per year
Age
dx
lx
qx
ex
dx
lx
qx
ex
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
55
60
65
70
75
80
85
90–100
28.2
4.1
2.7
3.4
2.9
4.0
3.5
4.7
1.8
4.0
2.5
5.4
3.3
10.4
4.3
7.8
1.0
4.1
1.8
100.0
71.8
67.7
65.0
61.5
58.6
54.6
51.1
46.4
44.6
40.6
38.1
32.7
29.4
19.0
14.7
6.9
5.9
1.8
0.28
0.06
0.04
0.05
0.05
0.07
0.06
0.09
0.04
0.09
0.06
0.14
0.10
0.35
0.23
0.53
0.14
0.70
1.0
38.9
47.0
44.7
41.5
38.7
35.5
32.9
30.0
27.8
23.8
20.9
17.1
14.5
10.9
10.4
7.7
8.7
4.7
5.0
35.8
4.2
1.4
1.6
2.3
3.1
2.1
3.7
2.8
3.8
2.9
6.8
4.6
7.6
5.5
6.1
2.6
2.3
1.6
100.0
64.2
60.0
58.5
56.9
54.6
51.5
49.5
45.8
43.0
39.2
36.3
30.3
25.7
18.2
12.7
6.5
3.9
1.6
0.36
0.07
0.02
0.03
0.04
0.06
0.04
0.07
0.06
0.09
0.07
0.17
0.15
0.29
0.30
0.48
0.40
0.58
1.0
36.3
48.8
47.1
43.2
39.4
35.9
32.9
29.2
26.3
22.9
19.9
16.2
14.0
11.0
9.5
7.6
7.4
5.6
5.0
TABLE 7. Values of life expectancy (in years) in parish of
Dziekanowice and in selected 19th century rural populations
(stationary population model)
Period I, before
enfranchisement
Rural
populations
1
Dziekanowice
Wielkopolska2
Szczepanowo3
Wielkie Drogi4
Period II, during
and after
enfranchisement
e0
e20
e0
e20
28.3
33.7
23.1*
25.9*
29.8*
30.8*
23.2
23.0
26.9*
23.0
34.0
35.3*
31.6*
33.0
1
Period I, 1818 –1850; period II, 1851–1903.
Period II, 1865–1900.
After Henneberg, 1977a (period I, 1828 –1854; period II, 1855–
1874).
4
Calculated by authors from Puch, 1989 (period I, 1786 –1849;
period II, 1850 –1899).
* Statistically significant differences between parish of Dziekanowice and population marked.
2
3
ered. There was a statistically significant increase in
ex values. During the period 1818 –1903, the newborn life expectancy increased on average to more
than 37 years. Having survived the first 5 years, an
average parishioner had a chance to live for a further 48 years, while the average age of an adult at
death was almost 60 years. In the stationary population model, these values are of course lower, but
still much higher than in the Middle Ages.
Comparison of the pre- and postenfranchisement
periods in the parish of Dziekanowice shows that the
situation was better in the former period. Assuming
the stationary population model, value e0 decreased
significantly in period II. If we assume the stable
population model, this value obtained for period II is
still significantly lower than the same value for period I. However, for example, value e10 increased
from 44.7 to 47.1 years. Parameter e20 was at a
similar level in both periods (Tables 5 and 6). Thus,
the conditions of adult mortality were hardly changing. It seems that lower values of e0 in period II are
not so much a result of increased mortality as an
artifact of the greater natural increase in this period. Of course, various other causes of the decline in
newborn life expectancy after 1851 cannot be excluded, but are difficult to point out. As mentioned
before, the second half of the 19th century covers the
core part of the implementation of the Prussian enfranchisement reform and the following years. Although the reform’s long-term effects included significant socioeconomic advancement and the
betterment of the material status of the rural areas
in Wielkopolska (Borowski, 1962, 1968), the very
years of its implementation also brought adverse
results for a part of the population (Davies, 1981).
The numbers of rural workers with no farmland of
their own or holders of small plots increased. These
growing numbers of the rural proletariat with their
poor living conditions and poor health could have
worsened the death rates. After the implementation
of the reform, increased emigration from Wielkopolska and migrations from rural areas to cities were
observed (Borowski, 1962, 1968). This could result
in a disturbance to the living population’s age structure. We have no data on the emigration of the
inhabitants of the parish of Dziekanowice. However,
the proximity of two large cities (Poznań and
Gniezno) could to a certain extent facilitate the outflow of the parish’s rural population. On the other
hand, poor development of large-scale industry in
Wielkopolska limited the absorption of the excess of
the labor force from rural areas (Jakóbczyk,
1959a,b).
With regard to the mortality measures, the parish
of Dziekanowice fits quite well into the overall situation in all villages of Wielkopolska. Values ex calculated from death records for the rural inhabitants
376
A. BUDNIK ET AL.
TABLE 8. Values of life expectancy (in years) in parish of Dziekanowice and in selected 19th century rural populations
(stable population model)
Period II, during and after
enfranchisement
Period I, before enfranchisement
Rural populations
Dziekanowice1
Wielkopolska2
Szczepanowo3
Wielkie Drogi4
r
0.0122
⫺0.0050
0.0081
e0
e20
r
e0
e20
38.9
38.7
20.1*
31.7*
28.4*
33.2*
0.0151
0.0166
0.0200
0.0158
36.3
37.7
42.5*
35.6
39.4
40.8*
38.0*
37.9
1
Period I, 1818 –1850; period II, 1851–1903.
Period II, 1865–1900.
3
After Henneberg, 1977a (period I, 1828 –1854; period II, 1855–1874).
4
Calculated by authors from Puch, 1989 (period I, 1786 –1849; period II, 1850 –1899).
* Statistically significant differences between parish of Dziekanowice and population marked.
2
Fig. 4. Values of life expectancy ex in population of parish of
Dziekanowice and in selected rural populations from 19th century (stationary population model, period I: before enfranchisement).
Fig. 5. Values of life expectancy ex in population of parish of
Dziekanowice and in selected rural populations from 19th century (stable population model, period I: before enfranchisement).
of the entire Wielkopolska in the second half of the
19th century (Table 8 and Fig. 7) are practically the
same as the corresponding measures from life tables
constructed by Ke˛delski (1980, 1985), taking into
consideration the structure of the living population.
Fig. 6. Values of life expectancy ex in population of parish of
Dziekanowice and in selected rural populations from 19th century (stationary population model, period II: during and after
enfranchisement).
Fig. 7. Values of life expectancy ex in population of parish of
Dziekanowice and in selected rural populations from 19th century (stable population model, period II: during and after enfranchisement).
This confirms the reliability of the estimates for the
stable population model, and allows us to hope that
after making an adjustment for the natural increase
rate, the age structure of the deceased quite accu-
BIOLOGICAL STATUS: POLISH HISTORICAL POPULATIONS
Fig. 8. Distribution of selected causes of death in parish of
Dziekanowice and in Wielkopolska villages in 19th century.
rately reflects the actual mortality in a living population. Similar conformity of results obtained with
the stable population model and with the age-specific mortality rate method was achieved for the 19th
century Danzig (Gdańsk) District (Budnik and Liczbińska, 1997). Finally, better parameters in the life
tables for period I could result from inaccuracy in
the recording of deaths in the parish registers during the first decades of the 19th century. Inaccurate
death registration was a common phenomenon at
that time (Gieysztorowa, 1976), and probably also
occurred in populations that were compared with
the parish of Dziekanowice. Despite this, values of
life expectancy for Dziekanowice were much higher
than for other populations, including the population
of Szczepanowo, another parish in Wielkopolska
(Tables 7 and 8; Figs. 4, 5). In period II, there was
less variation in the results for all groups (Figs. 6, 7).
We suggest that the population of the parish of
Dziekanowice had achieved an improvement in living conditions before the enfranchisement reform,
much earlier than in other rural populations of the
region.
These better living standards prevailing in the
parish of Dziekanowice seem to be confirmed to a
certain extent also by the analysis of causes of
death. In general, with regard to this issue, the
situation in Dziekanowice was not worse than in
other villages in Wielkopolska (Fig. 8).
It is important to note here that epidemics which
occurred in the studied population from time to time,
as evidenced by numbers of deaths exceeding numbers
of births in some years, had little influence on the
general level of mortality in a longer perspective.
These epidemics were of short duration. Among several epidemics of cholera that occurred in Wielkopolska during the 19th century (1831, 1837–1838, 1848 –
1849, 1852, 1855–1856, and 1866; Karaśkiewicz,
1936 –1937; Borowski, 1967), only those of 1849, 1852,
and 1866 reached the parish. The first two resulted in
377
27 deaths, i.e., 12% of all deaths that occurred in the
parish in the period 1848 –1852. The last epidemics
had only a few victims. In general, deaths due to cholera constituted less than 1% of all deaths analyzed
here. None of the other infectious diseases noted in the
parish records as a cause of death (most often whooping cough, diphtheria, scarlet fever, typhoid, and
smallpox) was responsible for more than 20% of all
deaths during a period in which it was present in the
population. It seems the inhabitants of the parish were
able to control infectious disease fairly effectively.
Since the parish was situated halfway between
Poznań and Gniezno, it was probably influenced by
city ordinances and regulations instructing people how
they should act in cases of epidemics. Such documents
were prepared as early as 1815 and 1835
(Karaśkiewicz, 1936 –1937). This opportunity was
surely denied to the parish of Szczepanowo, which in
the first half of the 19th century had a dramatically
low level of natural increase (⫺0.005; Henneberg,
1977a; see also Table 8). At the end of the 19th and at
the beginning of the 20th century, epidemics were
brought under control through improved health education and a better health service system in Wielkopolska. Over 80 years, the number of medical practitioners per 10,000 people increased from 1.0 to 2.3,
midwives from 1.0 to 4.2, and hospitals from 1 to 5 per
100,000 population. Even more important seem to be
the effects of much-improved training of medical personnel and of increased efficiency of medical treatments (Borowski, 1967).
Indices of the opportunity for natural selection
through differential mortality, derived from parish
records, are presented in Tables 9 and 10. In comparison with the Early Middle Ages, values of these
indices are better. This is especially evident for the
potential gross reproductive rate (Rpot), indicating a
significant decrease in premature adult mortality.
Values of the biological state index Ibs were still low,
while values of Crow’s index Im were higher than at
present. This was due to very high child mortality,
indicating that children were under much greater
selection pressure than adult individuals.
Assessment of the degree of genetic isolation
of parish Dziekanowice in the 19th century and
at the begining of the 20th century
The degree of genetic isolation of the population of
the Dziekanowice parish and its changes through
time were analyzed using coefficients of exogamy
(m) and coefficients of inbreeding (f) (Budnik et al.,
2002). The coefficient of exogamy (m) used here is a
ratio of marriages contracted between local women
and males from other villages to the total number of
marriages contracted by local women. This approach
is dictated by the matrilocal registration of Roman
Catholic marriages.
Estimates of inbreeding coefficients were derived
from the data on the spatial distribution of mating
distances (distances between birthplaces of spouses).
Two methods of estimation were used, those of Malé-
378
A. BUDNIK ET AL.
TABLE 9. Measures of opportunity for natural selection through differential mortality in parish of Dziekanowice and in
selected 19th century rural populations (stationary population model)
Period II, during and
after enfranchisement
Period I, before enfranchisement
Rural populations
Dziekanowice1
Wielkopolska2
Szczepanowo3
Wielkie Drogi4
Im
Rpot
Ibs
Im
Rpot
Ibs
0.98
0.78
0.39
1.32
1.11
0.78
0.80
0.34
0.38
1.54
1.64
0.96
1.51
0.83
0.85
0.82
0.82
0.32
0.32
0.42
0.32
1
Period I, 1818 –1850; period II, 1851–1903.
Period II, 1865–1900.
3
After Henneberg, 1978 (period I, 1828 –1854; period II, 1855–1874).
4
Calculated by authors from Puch, 1989 (period I, 1786 –1849; period II, 1850 –1899).
2
TABLE 10. Measures of opportunity for natural selection through differential mortality in parish of Dziekanowice and in
selected 19th century rural populations (stable population model)
Period I, before enfranchisement
Rural populations
Dziekanowice1
Wielkopolska2
Szczepanowo3
Wielkie Drogi4
r
Period II, during and after enfranchisement
Im
Rpot
Ibs
r
Im
Rpot
Ibs
0.0122
0.54
0.85
0.55
⫺0.0050
0.0081
1.53
0.76
0.76
0.84
0.30
0.48
0.0151
0.0166
0.0200
0.0158
0.71
0.68
0.38
0.68
0.89
0.91
0.90
0.88
0.52
0.54
0.65
0.53
1
Period I, 1818 –1850; period II, 1851–1903.
Period II, 1865–1900.
Calculated by authors from Henneberg, 1977a (period I, 1828 –1854; period II, 1855–1874).
4
Calculated by authors from Puch, 1989 (period I, 1786 –1849; period II, 1850 –1899).
2
3
TABLE 11. Values of coefficient of exogamy m and of coefficient of kinship f in parish of Dziekanowice and in
selected 19th century rural populations
I, before enfranchisement
Rural populations
1
Dziekanowice
Szczepanowo2
Wielkie Drogi3
II, during and after enfranchisement
m
fHenneberg
fMalécot
m
fHenneberg
fMalécot
0.44
0.24
0.18
0.0020
0.0035
0.0086
0.0012
0.0042
0.62
0.50
0.33
0.0004
0.0013
0.0014
0.0005
0.0015
1
After Budnik et al., 2002; period I, 1818 –1850; period II, 1851–1903.
After Henneberg, 1977b, 1978; period I, 1828 –1854; period II, 1855–1874.
3
After Puch, 1993; period I, 1786 –1849; period II, 1850 –1899.
2
cot (Cavalli-Sforza and Bodmer, 1971) and Henneberg
(1978, 1979; Budnik, 2000).
As seen in Table 11, in each of the populations,
enfranchisement of peasants resulted in a noticeable
increase of exogamy coefficients and a significant
decrease of coefficients of inbreeding, indicating the
opening up of local gene pools. It is also striking that
values of exogamy coefficients for pre-enfranchisement Dziekanowice were about twice those in other
populations, including another Wielkopolska population, that of Szczepanowo. Correspondingly, coefficients of inbreeding in pre-enfranchisement Dziekanowice were only 23–57% of those in other
parishes. These facts indicate that genetic isolation
of the Dziekanowice parish had been weakened long
before land ownership reforms. Its gene pool was
more open to other influences, and was more heterogenous.
CONCLUSIONS
Two phenomena discussed in this work deserve
special attention. First, in the period from the Early
Middle Ages through the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, a distinct decrease in
the mortality of the population occurred in the villages of the Ostrów Lednicki microregion. This is
confirmed both by the parameters of the life tables
and by the values of the measures of the opportunity
for natural selection. These measures are a good
reflection of the changes of the ecological and cultural situations in the region’s population brought
about mainly by the advancement in agriculture and
all the social and economic implications of this process. Hence the clear improvement of the biological
state of the inhabitants of the investigated microregion was noticed. The similarity between the mortality situation in the Middle Ages and in the early
19th century observed by some authors (Piontek,
1977; Piontek and Henneberg, 1981) was an effect of
the dramatically bad situation of the rural population haunted with cholera epidemics at the beginning of the 19th century (see also Henneberg,
1977a). Values of various measures describing mortality in the Early Medieval population of Dziek-
BIOLOGICAL STATUS: POLISH HISTORICAL POPULATIONS
anowice, though fitting within the range characteristic for Early Medieval populations, lie close to its
lower limits. This may reflect the inner crisis in the
Polish state of the Piast Dynasty during the fourth
decade of the 11th century, exacerbated by destructive incursions of the Czech Prince Brzetysław I into
the Wielkopolska. Although these factors did not
result in the depopulation of the Ostrów Lednicki
region, there is no doubt that fighting took place, as
evidenced by numerous military artifacts found in
Lednica Lake and by layers of burned material in
the city itself (Łastowiecki, 1989). It may be that
some items of weaponry and armor found at the
Dziekanowice 22 burial ground are a reflection of
these struggles, or at least reflect the sociopolitical
organization of the Polish state at that time. During
the early Piast Dynasty, there were organized troops
protecting the ruler, and there arose a class of warriors derived from the local population (Wyrozumski, 1984; Modzelewski, 1991). These warriors were
buried in local cemeteries. It may be that some burials at Dziekanowice 22 are of warriors who were
called upon from time to time to provide military
service to the city on the Ostrów Lednicki island
(Wrzesińska and Wrzesiński, 1998b).
Second, the 19th century parish of Dziekanowice
had achieved a higher level of demographic development and a better biological status earlier than
other contemporary rural populations. This is indicated, for instance, by the biological state index Ibs,
Crow’s index Im, and life expectancy values for the
first half of the 19th century. The parish’s modernity
was also reflected in measures of gene flow.
The proximity of the two big cities Poznań and
Gniezno, coupled with the presence of a good road
network in the microregion, undoubtedly contributed to that result. In 1872, a railroad was opened
connecting Lednica with Poznań and Gniezno
(Dohnalowa, 1994). At the beginning of the 20th
century, the average density of highways in the district that included the parish of Dziekanowice was
15.6 km per 100 km2, while the District of Żnin,
where the parish of Szczepanowo was situated, had
only 9.3 km of highway per 100 km2 (Dohnalowa,
1973).
The development of both the cities and transportation routes had its origins as early as the Early
Middle Ages. Gniezno and Poznań, cities built in the
mid-10th century, were the seats of the first rulers of
Poland with their armed forces and functionaries
(Wyrozumski, 1984). Therefore, similar to Ostrów
Lednicki, they were the centers of the state’s rule.
The Ostrów Lednicki microregion was situated on a
busy Medieval trade route between Poznań and
Gniezno, and Lake Lednica had a direct connection
with Poznań through the Główna River waterway.
Furthermore, at that time, the microregion was the
most densely populated area of the first Piasts’
state, with a population density of 10.5 persons/km2
(Kurnatowska and Kurnatowski, 1991). The average density for the whole of Poland reached 4 –5
379
persons/km2 at the turn of the 11th century. For
comparison, in Italy there were 24 persons/km2, in
Belgium 20, in France 17, in Germany 10, and in
Norway 0.6 person per km2 around the year 1000
(after Vielrose, 1957). At the beginning of the 10th
century, there were just a few small villages scattered around the Lednica Lake. In the second half of
the 10th century, after the city on the Ostrów Lednicki Island became one of the most important seats
of power in the Polish state, the situation had
changed radically. Between the second half of the
10th century and the mid-11th century, the number
of villages in the microregion quadrupled. The second half of the 11th century and the entire 12th
century witnessed a further increase in the number
of settlements and other archaeological sites by
about 1/3 (Kurnatowska and Kurnatowski, 1991).
This rapid increase of population density was undoubtedly a result of deliberate colonization directed
by the first members of the Piast Dynasty in order to
provide adequate provisioning to the royal court and
its military detachments. It seems that agriculture
in the microregion of Ostrów Lednicki developed
rather rapidly, beginning in the 10th century and
reaching a level of intense production of cereals using animal traction. This is indicated by rapid deforestation occurring at the time. Initial estimates
indicate that at the middle of the 11th century,
about 63% of the territory was deforested (at least 6
hectares per person; Kurnatowska and Kurnatowski, 1991). With the natural richness of the local
environment, this must have produced good economic effects. It may be concluded, following Kurnatowska and Kurnatowski (1991), that the settlement
pattern of the Ostrów Lednicki microregion reflects
overwhelming political demands. The development
of the microregion in the Early Middle Ages was
driven by the needs of the freshly organized political
apparatus of the Polish state, which provided the
first impulse for the accelerated development of the
microregion in the following centuries.
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