Rickets is usually associated with poverty and living in heavily polluted, close-built cities where there is little exposure to sunlight. But the Medici kids, ranging in age from newborn to 5 years old, “belonged to a high social class. We expect these children to be well-nourished”, says palaeopathologist Valentina Giuffra of the University of Pisa, a co-author of the study, which was published last month in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology1. So “it is surprising to find this,” she says.
Story: Traci Watson, Nature | Photo: Nature