Coalescing traditions—Coalescing people: Community formation in Pannonia after the decline of the Roman Empire

Corina Knipper, István Koncz, János Gábor Ódor, Balázs Gusztáv Mende, Zsófia Rácz, Sandra Kraus, Robin van Gyseghem, Ronny Friedrich, Tivadar Vida, Peter F. Biehl
2020 PLoS ONE  
The decline of the Roman rule caused significant political instability and led to the emergence of various 'Barbarian' powers. While the names of the involved groups appeared in written sources, it is largely unknown how these changes affected the daily lives of the people during the 5th century AD. Did late Roman traditions persist, did new customs emerge, and did both amalgamate into new cultural expressions? A prime area to investigate these population and settlement historical changes is
more » ... rical changes is the Carpathian Basin (Hungary). Particularly, we studied archaeological and anthropological evidence, as well as radiogenic and stable isotope ratios of strontium, carbon, and nitrogen of human remains from 96 graves at the cemetery of Mözs-Icsei dűlő. Integrated data analysis suggests that most members of the founder generation at the site exhibited burial practises of late Antique traditions, even though they were heterogeneous regarding their places of origin and dietary habits. Furthermore, the isotope data disclosed a nonlocal group of people with similar dietary habits. According to the archaeological evidence, they joined the community a few decades after the founder generation and followed mainly foreign traditions with artificial skull modification as their most prominent characteristic. Moreover, individuals with modified skulls and late Antique grave attributes attest to deliberate cultural amalgamation, whereas burials of largely different isotope ratios underline the recipient habitus of the community. The integration of archaeological and bioarchaeological information at the individual level discloses the complex coalescence of people and traditions during the 5th century.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0231760 pmid:32348315 fatcat:ufsuifqxmne5hhnhhixcvqld3u