“This community has accepted and integrated men, women, and children from different geographical and cultural backgrounds.”
The world of archaeology hasn’t finished revealing all its secrets. Indeed, archaeologists have just unearthed skulls dating back more than a thousand years in a cement factory in Hungary. Discoveries that reveal a glimpse of the populations at the time of the fall of the Roman Empire.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE POPULATIONS AT THE TIME OF THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE
In the Mözs-Icsei cemetery dűlő, located in the south of Budapest, Hungary, archaeologists have exhumed several dozen abnormally elongated skulls. According to them, this is one of the largest collections of deformed skulls in Central Europe.
This cemetery is located in an area formerly known as Pannonia. It played a central role in the Roman Empire. It gave the Roman troops one of the most strategic positions in Central Europe until the collapse of the Empire. In the 5th century, the Romans left Pannonia as the Huns invaded central Europe. The populations of this region then underwent important social and cultural transformations brought about by the arrival of new populations wishing to flee from the Huns.
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But how did these changes really manifest themselves? Through the analysis of these skulls, these archaeologists have tried to answer this question. The results of their research, published in the journal PloS ONE, revealed that several populations and different cultures lived at the same time despite some political instability.
51 ARTIFICIALLY DEFORMED SKULLS
In total, the researchers studied 51 skulls belonging to women, men and children. All of these bones were in a particularly elongated form that was artificially obtained by enclosing the skulls in bands. This technique was practiced in Central Asia and then in Europe in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. It then became more common from the first half of the 5th century.
“The Mözs site we are studying represents just such a period and is an excellent example of a community where practice was very common,” Corina Knipper, a member of the Curt-Engelhorn-Centre for Archaeometry, and her colleagues, reported to the LiveScience site.
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In addition, archaeologists have identified three different groups spread over two or even three generations among the 96 burials located in the cemetery. The first group would be the founding group of the cemetery and would consist of graves built around 430 and 440. The second would be a group of different origins but with a similar diet and would be composed of about twelve people who arrived several decades after the first group. The third group, composed of more recent burials, would be characterized by Roman or other traditions.
GROUPS THAT PROBABLY CO-EXISTED WITH EACH OTHER
The archaeologists’ analyses also revealed that these groups would probably have co-existed among themselves and thus shared cultural practices and traditions. “This community has accepted and integrated men, women and children from different geographical and cultural backgrounds over the two to three generations of its existence. Local and non-local traditions were thus amalgamated in the same burials,” the researchers reported.
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Thus, archaeologists have been able to show that the 5th century and the collapse of the Roman Empire gave rise to “a particularly dynamic period in the region of Pannonia”. The displacement of these populations also gave rise to a real mix of cultures and the emergence of a new “mixed Romano-Barbaric culture,” the researchers concluded.
Source : Geo