Garum and Graves: Bioarchaeological Interpretation of Cremations and Mortuary Architecture

Author(s): Emily Elizabeth Graff

Year: 2015


Mortuary contexts are archaeologically and anthropologically ambiguous. Moreover, mutilcomponent-use archaeological sites are difficult to interpret as the original purpose of these designated spaces reflects the ever changing living society. The ancient Roman site of Troia is a multicomponent-use site. Originally constructed as a Garum production and distribution center, in fact the largest known in the Western Roman Empire, Troia was also utilized as a cemetery throughout its use from the 1st to the 5th centuries CE. The function of the site’s location culturally, socially, and economically in addition to the material artifacts and osteological remains must be considered in order to properly interpret Troia’s mortuary behaviors and practices. Associated burial materials however often reflect the living population rather than the deceased. This paper considers the anthropological implications of cremation and associated mortuary architecture within a multicomponent-use space. From a bioarchaeology perspective, joint analysis of the osteological material and the mortuary architecture belonging to the cremations from the Necropolis of Calderia at Troia illuminates the true identities of the deceased as well as the function of Troia being a popular cemetery within the Western Roman Empire.

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Garum and Graves: Bioarchaeological Interpretation of Cremations and Mortuary Architecture. Emily Elizabeth Graff. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397875)

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Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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