According to a new study, people who lived all over Europe about 1400 years ago had a habit of reopening tombs and taking things out for reasons archaeologists were trying to understand.
“The practice of resuming and manipulating tombs shortly after burial was traditionally described as a” robbery “and was rejected, but documented in cemeteries from Transylvania to southern England,” the research team told the journal. I wrote in a paper published on June 18th. Ancient..
In their study, researchers reanalyzed previously excavated graveyards from five regions of Europe. They found that between the 6th and 8th centuries, people frequently opened tombs and took things out for reasons that seemed unrelated to grave robbery.
“They carefully selected their possessions, especially to take brooches from women and swords from men, but left behind many valuables, even precious metal objects, including necklace pendants. gold Or Silver“Allison Klebness, a researcher at Stockholm University and a principal investigator, said in a statement.
The researchers also said they found that many of the items taken from the tomb, especially the sword, were in poor condition and would not have been practical or economically valuable.
“The results show that burials are most commonly resumed within the range of about one generation of burials, and sometimes less,” the team wrote. “The most frequent time frame for resumption was after the collapse of the soft tissue, but before the wooden container collapsed or was filled with sediment.”
“These tombs were opened shortly after burial,” Klebnes told Live Science in an email, as it only takes a few years for the bodies to rot in most situations.
It’s unclear why people removed things from the tombs, but archaeologists believe that motives probably vary from place to place. “The reopening of the tomb has become part of a repertoire of possible involvement with bodies across large geographic areas, but the motive is probably as much local concern as due to a widely shared understanding of death and its rituals. It was promoted by, “the team wrote.
The fact that swords and brooches were often used suggests some symbolic motivation. “Swords and brooches are some of the most iconic stacked objects in the tomb,” Klevnäs told Live Science in an email. “These were given as gifts and inherited as heirs. Objects used to connect people across generations. Bring stories and memories. Therefore, they can be recovered for these reasons. There is. “
The habit of reopening the tomb did not last long. “The reopened habits spread to Western Europe in the late 6th century and peaked in the 7th century,” said Astrid Noterman, a postdoctoral fellow at Stockholm University and co-author of the study, in a statement. “In most areas, it declines in the second half of the 7th century.”
Live Science contacted several scholars unrelated to the survey and responded to the findings.
“I think it would be very difficult to say exactly why people removed the’grave goods’,” Eve Grise, an archaeologist at the French National Institute of Preventive Archeology, said in an email.
One of the concerns expressed by Gleizé was that researchers sought to determine when an object was deleted by estimating the corresponding stage of body decomposition within a particular grave. This is problematic because the body and casket can last longer or shorter depending on the environment.
“The conservation of empty space in the grave [on] “Many parameters”, if the conditions are correct human body It can be preserved for centuries.
Heinrichhake, a professor of archeology at the University of Eberhard Karls University in Germany, said that while some of the “discoveries” were previously reported in magazines and books, the author of the new treatise was the first to put together all these discoveries. Said there is.
“What’s new in this article is that it deserves to be emphasized and justified, but it brings together the Western and Central European evidence of the” tomb opening “as the sixth phenomenon across Europe. It is a consistent attempt to present. In the 7th century C.E., it offers several possible interpretations. ”
“I think these are really exciting discoveries,” said Emma Brownley, a researcher at the Faculty of Archeology at the University of Cambridge. “One of the things that surprised me is the fact that resumptions are taking place in a very similar way, even far away from Kent. [England] Transylvania suggests that there was a common understanding of how to interact with the dead across other cultural boundaries. We are just beginning to understand how the early Middle Ages were interrelated, and such studies are very helpful. “
Originally published in Live Science.
Archaeologists investigate the mystery of the tomb that was reopened 1400 years ago
Source link Archaeologists investigate the mystery of the tomb that was reopened 1400 years ago