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IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 133: Entangled Burials: The Analysis of Medieval Cemeteries

Monday 3 July 2023, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:David Stocker, Univeristy of Leeds
Paper 133-aEarly Medieval Chambered Graves from Poland in the European Arena: Connections, Discussions, and Speculations
(Language: English)
Patrycja Godlewska, Szkoła Doktorsk Nauk Humanistycznych, Teologicznych i Artystycznych Academia Artium Humaniorum, Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika, Toruń
Index terms: Anthropology, Archaeology - General, Local History, Pagan Religions
Paper 133-bGenetic and Social Identity in the Vandal and Byzantine Cemeteries of Carthage, Tunisia
(Language: English)
Reed Morgan, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge / Department of History, Harvard University
Index terms: Archaeology - General, Archaeology - Sites, Byzantine Studies, Computing in Medieval Studies

Paper -a:
The issue of early medieval chambered graves from the Polish site has generated much controversy. Earlier literature connected them with the direct presence of the Vikings. Nowadays, researchers are increasingly inclined to interpret these specific constructions differently. It was a wooden box with a roof, a kind of 'house' for the dead. The aforementioned constructions are also known in the Central and Eastern European regions and Northern European regions. This idea was known since prehistory. The issue arouses curiosity, as it is not known how contacts and networks took place between the various groups practicing this type of burial.

Paper -b:
The early medieval history of Carthage saw the western Mediterranean's second largest city change hands numerous times, between Vandals, Byzantines, and Arabs. Up to the time of its destruction, it remained a vital port at the centre of Mediterranean trade routes, and historical sources portray it as a hub of cosmopolitan activity. Carthage was a crucible of encounter for a wide array of cultural, linguistic, and religious groups: Romans, Vandals, Berbers, and Eastern Mediterranean populations; Latins, Greeks, and speakers of indigenous North African languages; Orthodox, Donatist, and Arian Christians. Up until now, North Africa as a region has remained a major lacuna in ancient DNA research. A new collaboration between historians, archaeologists, and archaeogeneticists examines biological ancestry and kinship patterns in light of our current understanding of social identities in the early medieval city. We present new genomes from approximately 150 5th- to 7th-century burials, representing a wide range of social identities from around the city, with extramural cemeteries, intramural cemeteries, elaborate basilicas, and isolated burials. This paper will integrate the new genetic insights into migration, ancestry, demography, and kinship in early medieval Carthage together with burial context to revaluate the longstanding historiography of identity formation in post-Roman North Africa.

This paper is co-authored by Reed Johnston Morgan (Department of History, Harvard University / Department of Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig); Najd Chalghoumi (Institut National du Patrimoine Tunisie); Hamden ben Romdhane (Institut National du Patrimoine Tunisie); Ralf Bockmann (Universität Hamburg); Harald Ringbauer (Department of Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig).