During the 6th archaeological excavation campaign performed at the «Pieve di Pava» (San Giovanni d’Asso, Siena, Italy) in the summer of 2009, a stone-lined burial of a high-status single individual (US 2378) was discovered, covered by a monolithic slab and placed in front of the altar. The tomb is about 160 cm long, 40 cm wide and over 70 cm deep. The skeletal remains of a young male (18-20 years), not in anatomical connection, were found on the floor of the tomb. 14C dating revealed a period between 650 and 688 AD. Stable isotope analysis (18O, 13C, 15N) attested that he was a member of the local community, with a diet quite rich in animal proteins. We are in presence of the secondary burial of an eminent personage, perhaps a saint, likely to have been transported to the church in a sack of perishable material, possibly textile, which caused their alignment along a curved line, as clearly demonstrated by the circular delimitation of the bones. The body was probably used for the re-consecration of the church, following the restoration works of the 8th century. The paleopathological study diagnosed a case of acromesomelic dysplasia, a congenital anomaly with disproportionate limbs: short, enlarged distal segments (radius-ulna and tibia), almost normal proximal segments (humerus and femur), short stature of about 150 cm, and bilateral fibular agenesis. Tibiae malformation and fibulae agenesis led to bilateral talipes valgus, with major walking problems. Extensive enthesopathies in the upper limbs indicate the use of crutches.

Privileged burial in the Pava Pieve (Siena, 8th century AD)

FORNACIARI, GINO
2013

Abstract

During the 6th archaeological excavation campaign performed at the «Pieve di Pava» (San Giovanni d’Asso, Siena, Italy) in the summer of 2009, a stone-lined burial of a high-status single individual (US 2378) was discovered, covered by a monolithic slab and placed in front of the altar. The tomb is about 160 cm long, 40 cm wide and over 70 cm deep. The skeletal remains of a young male (18-20 years), not in anatomical connection, were found on the floor of the tomb. 14C dating revealed a period between 650 and 688 AD. Stable isotope analysis (18O, 13C, 15N) attested that he was a member of the local community, with a diet quite rich in animal proteins. We are in presence of the secondary burial of an eminent personage, perhaps a saint, likely to have been transported to the church in a sack of perishable material, possibly textile, which caused their alignment along a curved line, as clearly demonstrated by the circular delimitation of the bones. The body was probably used for the re-consecration of the church, following the restoration works of the 8th century. The paleopathological study diagnosed a case of acromesomelic dysplasia, a congenital anomaly with disproportionate limbs: short, enlarged distal segments (radius-ulna and tibia), almost normal proximal segments (humerus and femur), short stature of about 150 cm, and bilateral fibular agenesis. Tibiae malformation and fibulae agenesis led to bilateral talipes valgus, with major walking problems. Extensive enthesopathies in the upper limbs indicate the use of crutches.
Mongelli, V.; Vitiello, A.; Campana, S.; Lubritto, C.; Fornaciari, Gino
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/237336
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