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The Langobards in Italy: A Bioarchaeological Analysis of the Seventh-Century A.D. Necropolis of Sovizzo in Vicenza, Italy

Author(s): Ashley Maxwell ; Robert H. Tykot ; Andrea Vianello

Year: 2017

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Summary

The Romans and Byzantines in Veneto (northeast Italy), experienced invasions from a Germanic tribal group, the Langobards, in AD 567, with occupations lasting until the 8th century AD; however, Langobard diet and health are largely unknown during this period of transition. Information on Langobard diet and health is pertinent to understanding the political, economic, and social changes that occurred during the Langobard arrival and subsequent occupation. To address these questions, we focused on the 7th century site of Sovizzo, an early medieval Langobard occupation located west of Vicenza. Sovizzo is an important case study because its location allowed the Langobards to secure large areas of farmland far from river systems that were used for Byzantine military communications. Excavations from 1985 recovered 175 individuals from earthen pits with grave goods indicative of social status (knives, bone combs, ceramics, and belt buckles). Of these, 50 adult individuals (25 males/25 females) were chosen for paleopathological and isotope analyses. Cribra orbitalia, dental pathologies, and trauma were recorded in the selected sample, with high rates of dental attrition, caries, dental calculus, and linear enamel hypoplasia’s suggesting a diet high in carbohydrates with hard fibrous foods. This was followed by isotopic and elemental analyses.


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The Langobards in Italy: A Bioarchaeological Analysis of the Seventh-Century A.D. Necropolis of Sovizzo in Vicenza, Italy. Ashley Maxwell, Robert H. Tykot, Andrea Vianello. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429618)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Europe


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14301

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