Burial and social organization in Italian Iron Age necropoleis: Testing a biodistance approach

Author(s): Evan Muzzall

Year: 2015


Using correlations between biodistance and tomb distance, this poster examines how mortuary practices of two central Italian Iron Age (1000 – 27 BC) ranked societies partially encoded responses to increasing sociopolitical instability. This time period witnessed reorganization of clan-based, transhumant, agropastoral societies immediately prior to long periods of conflict and Roman encroachment. Although they used similar mortuary arrangements, local groups had different attitudes towards these new spheres of interaction. Despite small and incomplete samples, data suggest that Samnites from Alfedena have weak, but patterned correlations between cranial, dental, and spatial tomb distances when compared to the Pretuzi from Campovalano, whose associations are indiscriminate. This is possibly due to the strategic geographic and economic position of Campovalano near the Adriatic coast, where further reaching contacts potentially allowed for nonbiological rules in the definition of kinship and access to burial rites. However, weakened correlations are detected in the Alfedena Samnites from the Orientalizing-Archaic (800 – 500 BC) to Classical period (500 – 400 BC), a possible result of shifting power structures and new rules for burial treatment. This research suggests the utility for incorporating quantified spatial tomb distances as another line of evidence for creating a more robust intracemetery biodistance measure.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit http://www.tdar.org/SAA2015 for instructions and more information.

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Burial and social organization in Italian Iron Age necropoleis: Testing a biodistance approach. Evan Muzzall. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397657)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;