"Packed behind their stockade in La Isabela, they seem to have sampled next to nothing of the rich menu of the Caribbean," Mann says. "It was a lethal mistake."
"They also faced constant attacks" by the native people, Tiesler says.
Some of the bones do show some signs of healing, likely as a result of the colonists eating limited amounts of some foods containing vitamin C, says Maat. A. E. van der Merwe, Maat's Leiden University colleague and fellow scurvy expert, concurs. Some vitamin C must have been present in the diets of some of the dead, she says, because they had been healed of scurvy when other diseases killed them.