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Early Medieval Deviant Burials in the Czech Republic

Author(s): Lauren R. Hosek

Year: 2013

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This paper will examine how 22 burials, labeled "deviant" due to their unusual burial positions, fit into the social context of early medieval Bohemia. Libice nad Cidlinou is a large fortified settlement site in what is now the Czech Republic. Multiple excavations have uncovered a cemetery dating from the late 9th through early 10th centuries and consisting of 212 graves. Of these, 22 deviate from the normal extended burial position. The unusual burials have been analyzed using a biocultural approach that takes into account the life course of an individual and the potential for transformative impacts on the skeleton. Using multiple lines of evidence, including osteological analysis, archaeological data, historical sources and comparative cases, these burials are contextualized along with an exploration of the reasons for uncommon burial including the possibilities of slavery, social ostracism and extreme poverty, the presence of particular diseases, foreign places of origin, and perceived revenants.

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Early Medieval Deviant Burials in the Czech Republic. Lauren R. Hosek. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428682)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 364

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America