image/svg+xml111 VII/1/2016 INTERDISCIPLINARIA ARCHAEOLOGICA NATURAL SCIENCES IN ARCHAEOLOGY homepage: http://www.iansa.eu The Early-Merovingian Cemetery in München-Perlach (Bavaria) – Analysing Skeletal Morphology, Health and Disease and Strontium Isotope Ratios Kristin von Heyking a , Stephanie Zintl b,c* a AnthroArch GbR, Josef-Danzer-Str. 35, 82152 Planegg, Germany b Institute of Archaeological Sciences, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg i. Br., Germany c Bavarian State Department for Preservation of Historical Monuments, Ofce Thierhaupten, Klosterberg 8, 86672 Thierhaupten, Germany 1. Introduction Due to the almost complete absence of written sources only a few (and often scattered) pieces of information exist as to population development and the composition of society in early medieval Bavaria around 500 AD. Our knowledge is almost exclusively based on archaeological fnds, most notably burials furnished with grave goods that are characteristic for this period and so far have attracted most attention. The present study attempts to complement archaeological fndings on a small cemetery from early Merovingian times in München-Perlach with the results of morphological and (molecular) archaeometric analyses of the skeletons to get a better understanding of the living conditions and potential mobility of the individuals buried there.In 1999, excavations of Roman structures dating from the 1 st to the middle of the 4 th century (Volpert 2004/05) in the village of Perlach, nowadays a suburb in the south of Munich, also yielded a small cemetery dating to early Merovingian times (Zintl 2004/05). In total, 32 burials were excavated. Two more graves might have been destroyed by modern construction work (graves no. 33 and 34, cf. Figure 1), and the burial place was not excavated completely, but two burials of small children (graves no. 31 and 32) found in 2000 indicate its eastern border. Thus, it can be assumed that probably at least two thirds of the cemetery have been excavated.The cemetery lies close to a small river, the Hachinger Bach which runs south to north and also marks the approximate course of a trafc route in this region: Archaeological sites from Roman and Early Medieval times line up along this route ( cf. Winghart 1995), including the richly-furnished early Merovingian graves from Unterhaching that were found only about 5 km south of the Perlach cemetery in 2004 (Fehr, Later, Volpert 2005; Wamser 2010; Haas-Gebhard 2013). The settlement to which the cemetery in Perlach belonged has not yet been found. The relation of the early Merovingian graves to a larger cemetery approximately 150 m further west, where Volume VII ● Issue 1/2016 ● Pages 111–121 *Corresponding author. E-mail: Stephanie.Zintl@blfd.bayern.de ARTICLE INFO Article history: Received: 11 th December 2015 Accepted: 2 nd September 2016 Key words: Early Middle AgescemeteryBavarialiving conditionspersonal mobilitystress markercribra orbitaliaenamel hypoplasiastrontium isotopes analysis ABSTRACT The present study focuses on the living conditions and mobility of individuals buried in München-Perlach at around 500 AD, using archaeological, morphological and archaeometric methods. The sex, age at death, and body height of each individual were ascertained with the aid of morphological examination techniques. The skeletal series is characterised by a balanced sex distribution and a surprisingly high life expectancy for Merovingian times. Compared to the contemporary, (possibly) high status collectives Unterhaching and Burgweinting the morphological stress markers cribra orbitalia and enamel hypoplasia suggest slightly less favourable living conditions for the München-Perlach individuals. However, it has to be stressed that further research and more comparative studies are needed to interpret these results.The isotopic analyses of strontium ratios of the tooth enamel of 29 individuals from the München-Perlach cemetery suggest that at least four individuals did not grow up in the region. The strontium signatures of these four people indicate that they consumed food from a granite or volcanic geologic substrate in their childhood, which identifes them as foreign to the region where they were buried.
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2016 ● VII/1 ● 111–121Kristin von Heyking, Stephanie Zintl: The Early-Merovingian Cemetery in München-Perlach (Bavaria) – Analysing Skeletal Morphology, Health and Disease and Strontium Isotope Ratios 112