A place of Life and Death. Burials and human bone finds in the Iron Age settlement at Saharna Mare / ”Dealul Mănăstirii”: archaeological data and anthropological analysis
Authors: Mihail Băţ, Angela Simalcsik, Aurel Zanoci
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Among the numerous vestiges of the Iron Age at Saharna Mare / “Dealul Mănăstirii”, there are 11 finds of human remains, which are of particular in¬terest for the interdisciplinary research of the site. In this article, we propose combining archaeological data with anthropological ones. The analyzed skele¬tal material comes from six types of archaeological contexts: “cultic structure”, “ditch”, “rampart”, “grave”, “dwelling”, and “cultural layer” (Fig. 2; 3). In all the analyzed cases the identified osteological remains come from a single individu¬al. In total, seven individuals were identified, one of whom is female and six are male. Regarding age distribution, most individuals fall within the age range of 30-60 years (maturus). One individual falls within the age range of 20-30 years (adultus), and another one has passed the age of 60 (senilis). As a result of the paleopathological analyses, a wide spectrum of dental pathologies (supragingi¬val calculus, cavities, abscess, antemortem tooth loss) and bone pathologies (os¬teoarthritis, intervertebral disc herniation, porotic hyperostosis) were recorded. The analysis of occupational indicators showed over-demanding physical activities, spatial mobility, and horseback riding. Traces of violent death, such as cra¬nial and postcranial fractures, have been reported in several cases. There were also identified injuries with signs of healing.