necropolis, roman, bones, anthropology, tombs, dig, artefacts, discover, ornaments, people

About the funerary ritual of Sanisera’s Necropolis

The majority of the tombs in Sanisera’s Necropolis (Minorca – Balearic Islands – Spain) are collective. This means that the tombs were used to bury several people from the same family or group. In late antiquity, after the burial, the space of the grave was considered a sacred place and only family members could access it.

Bronze bracelet articulated to the arm of a young woman in grave 421

Bronze bracelet articulated to the arm of a young woman in grave 421 (Fig.1)

Thanks to the artifacts found in the tombs we can date the necropolis in late antiquity. The discovered grave goods are jewelry and personal ornaments made ​​of different materials like bronze, silver and even gold. Necklace beads, earrings, rings and bracelets are remarkable (Fig. 1).

Burials in each grave were not performed simultaneously. In fact, some of them were carried out in considerable separate times between consecutive burials; periods that would have allowed the decomposition, at least partially, of the previous individual (Fig. 2).

Common case of collective grave in Sanisera

Common case of collective grave in Sanisera (Fig.2)

During the excavation of the tomb we found two types of bone groups. Those in anatomical connection and those disjointed.

Articulated remains indicate that the typical posture of the bodies was oriented with the head towards W and feet towards E

A student working at the necropolis

A student working at the necropolis

 

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