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Pratiques funéraires et anthropologie biologique d’une population en contexte rural au haut Moyen Âge en Provence. Le site de Saint-Estève le Pont (Berre l’Etang, Bouches-du-Rhône)

Abstract : Saint-Estève le Pont site (Berre l’Etang, Bouches-du-Rhône, South-East of France) is a medieval (8th to 10th century) rural funerary complex divided into two zones : the South area, characterised by a church and annexed sepulchral area, and the North area, characterised by a rupestrian cemetery. Comprehensive archaeological and anthropological analyses have been carried throughout, from the initial phases of archaeological excavation to the final study of human remains in laboratory. This PhD work focused on two main objectives. Firstly, the research aimed to define the funeral practices used during the early Middle Age (e.g. Carolingian period), particularly those practices associated with the selective recruitment of Berre l’Etang’s population. Secondly, the research intended to stem the demographic, osteometric and pathological features of the original medieval population living in this province of France. The archaeological and anthropological study of the osteological sample (216 individuals) revealed the use of specific burial practices: young children and adults of high socio-economic status were mainly buried within and around the church walls, whereas older juveniles, aged over 10 years, and adults of lower socio-economic status were buried in the rupestrian cemetery. Interesting results also came from palaeopathological analyses, highlighting the impact of tuberculosis during this period. The archaeological evidence of St Esteve le Pont site and the interpretation of the funerary practice adopted showed the impact of Christianisation on a rural population, while the anthropological study of human remains well document the social, economic and sanitary status of this population. In conclusion, this research adds new and important knowledge to the understanding of Middle Age populations, a still poorly documented period in the southeast of France.
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Aminte Thomann. Pratiques funéraires et anthropologie biologique d’une population en contexte rural au haut Moyen Âge en Provence. Le site de Saint-Estève le Pont (Berre l’Etang, Bouches-du-Rhône). Anthropologie biologique. Université de la Méditerranée, 2004. Français. ⟨tel-02512789⟩

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