Did Skull Shapes Mark Social Changes in the Roman Empire?
Friday, May 1, 2020
SZEKSZÁRD, HUNGARY– A new study led by Corina Knipper of the Curt Engelhorn Center of Archaeometry recommends that central Europeans who practiced skull-binding lived alongside other cultures in the Roman province of Pannonia Valeria, in what is now western Hungary, during the political instability of the 5th century A.D., according to a Live Science report. The researchers divided the remains of individuals from 96 graves in the Mözs cemetery, 51 of which had actually lengthened skulls, into three generations who lived in between A.D. 430 and470 The earliest remains in the cemetery were interred in Roman-style graves. The middle group was buried in a different manner, and the last burials in the cemetery combined practices of Roman and other traditions. Customized skulls were found in all 3 groups. About 30 percent of the oldest burials had actually extended heads, while about 65 percent of the middle group and 70 percent of the last group revealed signs of head binding. The scientists noted that the placement of grooves in the skulls altered gradually, suggesting that different binding strategies were utilized amongst various groups. Chemical analysis of the bones showed that some of the later locals had been born near the cemetery, while others had actually settled there after maturing someplace else. The scientists concluded that residents of Pannonia Valeria mingled and embraced each other’s cultural routines as the Roman Empire collapsed. For more on Hungarian archaeology, go to “ Letter from Hungary: The Look For the Sultan’s Burial place“