The archaic necropolis at Motya has been long recognized as a site of great interest for the study of Phoenician burial customs in the West. Since its discovery by Joseph Whitaker more than a century ago, over 300 burials have been brought to light - mainly dating to the late 8th-7th century BC. Burials are characterized by jars used as urns and box-shaped stone cists containing the ashes and burnt bones of the dead. These are indeed secondary cremations, a very common funerary ritual of the Iron Age in the Phoenician homeland and in the colonies overseas. Despite the relevant bearing of this cemetery on historical and cultural grounds, anthropological analysis unfortunately has been mostly neglected in the past. Recent fieldwork undertaken last spring by a team from the University of Palermo now sheds new light on this aspect. The excavation took place in the eastern sector of the archaic cemetery (Area N), where two trenches (namely N15 and N16) were opened. In N15 a work of maximum retrieval and analysis of human skeletal remains has been undertaken in relation with ten obvious burials (both urns and cist graves); humans remains were further identified in a number of other loci, generally associated with lenses of ashes and clear traces of fire. In N16 evidence of cremation was mainly detected in a grave (T.510) in plain soil, adjacent to an empty stone cist, apparently belonging to a much later period. Our analysis has considered the morphology of the skeletal remains in order to establish the minimum number of individuals, their age, the appearance of the bones as a symptom of the procedure of combustion and the firing temperature. In two cases (locus 15040 and T.192) the mixed association of the inhumations was manifest. In fact, locus 15040 contained one individual infans and one adult in the same urn. Grave T.192 instead contained materials related to two adults and one infans. The temperatures of combustion usually were relatively high and constant, at around 600 degrees C°. Burial T.185 moreover was quite interesting, since the body of an infans was still buried inside a jar in partial anatomical connection, lying upside down in a vertical position, with the skull on the bottom. These new data therefore suggest that this portion of the Motya cemetery was not exclusively devoted to the incineration of particular classes of age, and that urns and cists could contain multiple interments of even very different age, a feature the latter which needs to be confirmed by further discoveries.
Lauria, G., Sconzo, P., Falsone, G., & Sineo, L. (2014). NEW ANTHROPOLOGICAL DATA FROM THE ARCHAIC CEMETERY AT MOTYA. In From Mediterranean to the Atlantic: peoples, goods and ideas between East and West. Sassari : Università degli Studi di Sassari.
|Autori:||Lauria, G.; Sconzo, P.; Falsone, G.; Sineo, L.|
|Titolo:||NEW ANTHROPOLOGICAL DATA FROM THE ARCHAIC CEMETERY AT MOTYA|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/08 - Antropologia|
|Data di creazione:||2013|
|Nome del convegno:||8th International Congress of Phoenician and Punic Studies|
|Luogo del convegno:||Carbonia|
|Anno del convegno:||21-26 ottobre 2013|
|Numero del convegno:||8|
|Data di concessione:||2013|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2014|
|Numero di pagine:||1|
|Citazione:||Lauria, G., Sconzo, P., Falsone, G., & Sineo, L. (2014). NEW ANTHROPOLOGICAL DATA FROM THE ARCHAIC CEMETERY AT MOTYA. In From Mediterranean to the Atlantic: peoples, goods and ideas between East and West. Sassari : Università degli Studi di Sassari.|
|Tipologia:||0 - Proceedings (TIPOLOGIA NON ATTIVA)|
|Appare nelle tipologie:|