Session: #149

Theme & Session Format

5. Assembling archaeological theory and the archaeological sciences
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Bioarchaeology of Health, Lifestyle and Social Change in the Later Middle Ages
Skeletal and molecular analysis are providing ever more powerful tools for investigating aspects of medieval society which historical records tell us little about. This symposium displays the range of modern studies, highlighting the productive nature of bringing together different kinds of data interdisciplinarily and the gains to be made by deep social contextualisation of bioarchaeological results.
This session showcases current research at the convergence of social history and bioarchaeology, for the later Middle Ages (from around 900 AD through about 1500) in Europe. The range of topics is great. Contributions may focus upon epidemics such as the Black Death and their social consequences; genetic profiles of medieval populations and their implications for kinship and mobility; diet and its social differentiation; human-pathogen coevolution; the biological correlates of social patterns such as gender, class and religious identity; aspects of daily life such as the organisation of work, social practices of violence, and hidden aspects of religious practice; and the osteobiographical narratives of ordinary people.
bioarchaeology, genetics, isotopes, medieval, plague, social history
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Main organiser:
John Robb (United Kingdom) 1
Christopher Knüsel (France) 2
1. University of Cambridge
2. Université de Bordeaux