Exploring the efficacy of comparative bioarchaeological approaches in providing answers on marginality and networking: The example of Late Bronze Age Achlada in Florina, Northern Greece

Dimitra Ermioni Michael*, Linda Fibiger, Christina Ziota, Liana Gkelou, Barry Molloy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper investigates the efficacy of comparative bioarchaeological approaches in exploring the impact of economic marginality on human lifeways. Skeletal remains from the Late Bronze Age cemetery of Achlada in Northern Greece were chosen to address this, as this specific community was probably less well networked, evident in its location away from major communication routes and the paucity of grave goods at the site. A biocultural methodology combining comparative data on funerary practices and lifestyle was implemented. Sex differences were found within the community and seem to agree with the differential burial placement of the sexes possibly representing the different roles that society symbolically attributed to men and women in deathways. Comparative intercemetery data did not reveal poorer health and diet, or more intense physical activity, compared to well-networked sites. Nonetheless, Achlada, as well as numerous, mostly north communities of the wider context, probably faced more physiological challenges during growth, at least of a mild to moderate level, compared to a number of populations connected by major communication routes. The current study highlights the importance of implementing comparative bioarchaeological approaches as a means of identifying the impact of marginality on human lifeways, particularly in settings with limited material culture information.
Limitations linked to preservation issues and the multifactorial nature of lifestyle indicators could be dealt with by future biomolecular and isotopic analyses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-46
Number of pages26
JournalBioarchaeology International
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • lifeways
  • palaeopathology
  • prehistory

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