||The process of urbanisation was important during the Late Middle Ages in Europe. Traditionally, the rise of urban centres has been associated with unhealthier living conditions, compared to the countryside. However, this so-called ‘urban graveyard effect´ has been challenged by more recent historical and osteological research. Particularly, osteoarchaeologists have assessed the possible difference in living conditions between urban and rural areas through physiological stress markers, such as linear enamel hypoplasia (LEH). In the Netherlands, up to date, a specific and detailed osteoarchaeological analysis of the effect of urbanisation in children has not been done. To address this question, this thesis has studied the individuals from the Late Medieval urban centre of Alkmaar and rural village of Klaaskinderkerke, focusing on the prevalence, number of episodes, and age distribution of LEH in canines.
The results show a lack of difference between Alkmaar and Klaaskinderkerke. High levels of prevalence and number of episodes are present in both populations; in addition, the defects followed a similar age distribution. Therefore, as historical sources also point out, these socioeconomic changes did not only affect the city but also the countryside. In the Netherlands, both spaces changed during the Late Middle Ages, and both had great importance in the rising Dutch economy. The high levels of physiological stress in the city and the countryside support the idea that this Dutch economic development did not mean an improvement in living conditions for people. In summary, living in the countryside was as physiologically stressful as living in the city.