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1300 A.D.

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1300 AD

There really was not much of a personal hygiene in the 1300s. People would bath and stuff in any body of water available to them such as ponds, rivers, or streams. There really was not much emphasis on bathing often. Most people wore woolen clothing, with undergarments made of linen. Brighter colors, better materials, and a longer jacket length were usually signs of greater wealth. The clothing of the aristocracy and wealthy merchants tended to be elaborate and changed according to the dictates of fashion. Women wore flowing gowns and elaborate headwear, ranging from headdresses shaped like hearts or butterflies to tall steeple caps and Italian turbans.

The life expectancy rate was somewhere around the age of 38. During the 14th century the Black Plague struck Europe. It is estimated that it killed between 25 and 50 percent of the European population (around estimated 30 million people). Medical knowledge was very limited and antibiotics had not been invented yet. The infant mortality rate was about 100 deaths per a thousand births.

The only water supply in the 14th century was from rivers and streams. They used the rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds for all their water needs. Villages and towns were often located along rivers or streams for the purpose of using the water.

There really was no sanitation or sewage treatment in the 1300s. Only the wealthy noble people had outhouses. Everyone else either dug a whole or just went used the restroom wherever they pleased. When sanitation would become an issue villages and towns often just packed up moved further along.

Most homes were cold, damp, and dark. Sometimes it was warmer and lighter outside the home than within its walls. For security purposes, windows, when they were present, were very small openings with wooden shutters that were closed at night or in bad weather. The small size of the windows allowed those inside to see out, but kept outsiders from looking in. Many families ate, slept, and spent time together in very small quarters, rarely more than one or two rooms. The houses had thatched roofs and were easily destroyed.

The staple food for common people was bread, usually made from oats, rye, or barley. Wheat was more expensive and therefore less common. The staple beverage for people of all ages was ale, which was one of their primary sources of nutrition. It was often less healthy to drink plain



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