Bioarchaeology of the Near East, 11:29-62 (2017)

The people of Early Byzantine Maroneia, Greece (5th-6th c. AD)

Paraskevi Tritsaroli* (1), Chryssa Karadima (2)

(1) The Malcolm H. Wiener Laboratory for Archaeological Science,
American School of Classical Studies,
54 Souidias Str., Athens, GR-106 76, Greece
email: (corresponding author)
(2) Ephorate of Antiquities of Rodopi,
4 A. Symeonidi Str., GR-691 32 Komotini, Greece

Abstract: This study reports on the human remains of 39 individuals uncovered at the Early Byzantine cemetery of Maroneia in Thrace, Greece (5th-6th c. AD). Results on physiological and activity related stress indicators do not show deteriorating living conditions caused by major geopolitical transformation, social upheavals or natural disasters but rather a peasant lifestyle and adequate diet. The sample includes two individuals with intentional cranial modification, a practice that was not customary in Christian tradition. Biocultural evidence supports the hypothesis that these individuals had a cultural origin which was linked to the Huns. The combined analysis of historical, archaeological and skeletal data allows interpretations of health, lifestyle and biosocial complexity during Early Christian times in Greece.

Key words: health; disease; cranial modification; Thrace; Early Byzantine period

Received 1 February 2016; accepted 3 December 2017; published online 9 January 2018.

Return to Volume 11:2017