The disturbed Sarmatian graves from Medeleni–Ungheni (Republic of Moldova). Palaeoanthropological data Angela Simalcsik and Robert Daniel Simalcsik

Medeleni

Abstract. In 2015 at Medeleni-Ungheni were discovered five graves belonged to a plane Sarmatian cemetery dated in the 1st-2nd centuries AD. At least four of the five graves discovered at Medeleni were disturbed in antiquity. Four skeletons belonged to adult individuals (only women) and one skeleton comes from a child.

Life expectancy at birth for this demographic batch is 33.8 years. Paleopathological analysis revealed dental diseases, metabolic disorders, joint diseases, trauma and occupational markers. All cracks and breakages that have led to fragmentation, also all disarticulations occurred postmortem, in antiquity.The traces of carnivores or rodents teeth are missing. No signs of burning. No skeletal element has any traces of cutting, which excludes intentional defleshing or excarnation. No skeletal elements from the vertebral column discovered in situ and analyzed anthropologically does not support decapitation theory. During the disturbance of the graves and the manipulation of the bones, in the privacy of the primary context, they were no longer covered with soft tissues, being completely skeletonised. The skeletal elements were deliberately disturbed, manipulated and disarticulated, some of them were taken and probably secondary buried elsewhere, in a still undiscovered place. At the present state of research, we cannot certainty know what happened in these five documented graves, but the fact that at least four of them were disturbed in antiquity, and skeletons have been troubled, cannot be a hazard.

 

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