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Bioarchaeology aids the cultural understanding of Six Characters in Search of their Agency (Tarquinia, ninth – seventh century BC, central Italy)

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Peer-reviewed

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Article

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Abstract

Etruria contained one of the great early urban civilisations (first millennium BC) of Italy, much studied from a cultural, humanities-based, perspective, but relatively little with scientific data, and rarely in combination. We have addressed the unusual location of twenty inhumations found in the sacred heart of the Etruscan city of Tarquinia, focusing on six of these as illustrative, contrasting with the typical contemporary cremations found in cemeteries on the edge of the city. The cultural evidence suggests that the six skeletons were also distinctive in their ritualization and memorialisation. Focusing on the six, as a representative sample, the scientific evidence of osteoarchaeology, isotopic compositions, and ancient DNA has established that these appear to show mobility, diversity and violence through an integrated bioarchaeological approach. The combination of multiple lines of evidence makes major strides towards a deeper understanding of the role of these extraordinary individuals in the life of the early city of Etruria.

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Scientific Reports

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Journal ISSN

2045-2322
2045-2322

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Nature Portfolio
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DfG, Humanities and Social Sciences International strategy award (Cambridge),
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