//Early medieval stone-lined graves in Southern Germany: analysis of an emerging noble class

Early medieval stone-lined graves in Southern Germany: analysis of an emerging noble class

Early medieval stone-lined graves in Southern Germany: analysis of an emerging noble class

Author(s): Rott, A., Turner, N., Scholz, U., von Heyking, K., Immler, F., Peters, J., Haberstroh, J. and Harbeck, M.
Journal: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Issue/Volume: in press
Page(s): in press
Year: 2017

Abstract:

Objectives

Stone-lined graves, which first appear in Bavarian territory during the 7th century AD, are assumed to be tombs of emerging nobility. While previous research on stone-lined grave goods supports their status as elite burials, an important factor defining nobility—kinship—has not been examined so far.

Materials and methods

Morphological analysis of the commingled skeletal remains of 21 individuals from three archaeological sites was carried out. Radiocarbon dating was conducted on these individuals to gain information on usage intervals of these graves. To test whether stone-lined graves can be considered family graves, analyses of mitochondrial HVR I, Y-chromosomal and autosomal STRs were carried out.

Results

Morphological examination revealed a surplus of males buried in stone-lined graves and radiocarbon dating points to usage of the tombs for several generations. According to aDNA analysis, kinship can be assumed both between and within stone-lined graves.

Discussion

Taken together, these results hint at burials of family members with high social status being inhumed at the same site, in some cases even the same grave, for several generations. They also suggest, for the first time, that an early medieval linear cemetery was structured according to biological kinship.


Source Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1002/ajpa.23170/abstract

Keywords

Peoples: Germans | Places: Southern Germany | Topics: commingled skeletal remains, Grave sites, and Kinship | DNA Type: Ancient DNA, Autosomal DNA, mtDNA, and Y-STR

2017-02-03T05:38:57+00:00 February 3rd, 2017|