One hundred and thirty-six well-preserved medieval skeletons were excavated
in advance of re-development in Norwich. Examination of sub-adult hand and
feet bones indicated a high percentage of accessory epiphyses. The majorit
y could be identified by traces of a fusion line. The distal first metacarp
al and first metatarsal being the preferred sites. Such additional epiphyse
s have rarely been reported in archaeological samples and the findings are
in strong contrast to the figures quoted in modern anatomical texts. The po
ssible reasons for this apparent variation are discussed.